A good samaritan pulled a young woman out of the frigid Coney Island waters after spotting her drowning at about 4 pm on Wednesday.
Mike Perez, from Downtown Brooklyn, was on the beach by Ocean Parkway when he saw a woman in her 20s wade into the water, he said.
“At first she took off her pants and was walking on the beach without pants and just wearing a jacket, but then she went into the water – she looked like she was splashing and playing and people were watching,” said Perez, an artist and bartender who is unemployed because of the coronavirus outbreak. “Then, I wasn’t paying attention to her for a moment and she was gone.”
Perez, who kite surfs and swims at the beach and was wearing a wetsuit, decided he had no time to lose, he said.
“I called 911 and told them where I was, but then I said to myself, ‘I’m wasting time, I should go in there,’ so I told the operator I have to go and hung up and went in,” he said.
Perez made his way along the rocky jetty when he spotted the woman’s foot in the surf, grabbed her, and started dragging her to shore. School Safety officer Anthony Baisden, on his third day assigned to the beach, rushed out to help Perez bring the unconscious woman to dry land, where they were also met by cops from the 60th Precinct.
The woman, who police have not identified, was brought back to life by first responders and firefighters who immediately began CPR on her after she was pulled from the water. “She had a heartbeat,” exclaimed one top cop.
The woman was loaded onto a police gator and driven to a waiting ambulance that rushed her to Coney Island Hospital, where she remains in critical condition, police officials said.
Perez said he was just doing whatever he could to help the woman out.
“I don’t know, there really wasn’t heroics, I was just doing my part,” said Perez, born and raised in Brooklyn and a Brooklyn College alumnus. He thanked the safety officer for helping bring the unconscious woman to shore.
The city is in the process of deciding if the beaches will be open this summer and how that might look in the age of COVID-19. It was also unclear whether an NYPD detail will be assigned after Memorial Day, though officials privately expect that it will occur to help control massive crowds that are expected this summer despite COVID-19.
This story first appeared on AMNY.com.