A woman who fell overboard from a sailboat was rescued by Suffolk County police officers yesterday afternoon.
Anne Belle, 53, and Charles Meinhold, 75, both from Brookhaven, were sailing in Bellport Bay east of Howells Point in Bellport but when the two attempted to lower the sails of the 22-foot Catalina sailboat, Belle fell overboard trying to fix the sails at the ship’s bow around 3 p.m., police said.
Meinhold, unable to lower the sails or control the boat and therefore unable to rescue Belle, called his wife at 3:13 p.m. He then relayed the info to police.
Marine Bureau officers responded with a trio of vessels–Juliet, Kilo and Mike–and received additional assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, a Suffolk County Police Aviation Section helicopter and a few fire departments.
The helicopter located Belle treading water and passed her location to Kilo, which was able to pull her from the ocean at 3:43 p.m. According to Belle, she attempted to swim to the shore but was prevented by strong currents pushing her east.
Belle was taken via Kilo to the Bellport dock. From there, she was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue for further evaluation.