Ocean Road in Bridgehampton is usually busy at the end of the day with people dragging beach chairs and umbrellas back to their cars after a long day at the beach, but on Sunday,
September 16, the action at the
beach was of a different variety.
The Bridgehampton Fire Department, East Hampton Ocean Rescue, and Southampton Town police converged on the scene at about 6:30 PM after receiving reports of at least four beachgoers in distress because of rip tides.
Erling Hope, a Bridgehampton resident, was at the beach with his family, celebrating his daughter Soren’s 25th birthday, when he noticed commotion nearby and saw a police officer on the beach.
He said he saw a woman and her son in the water, who were caught in the current and unable to return to shore. “They were fighting as hard as they could and they weren’t making any progress,” he said. Hope said he entered the water to the side of the struggling pair, but they were out of reach. Soon, though, they were able to swim to the side and escape the current on their own, he added.
Elsewhere on the beach two other swimmers were also reportedly in distress, emergency personnel said. One person was taken by Bridgehampton ambulance to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.
A short time later, emergency workers raced off for Mecox Beach, a short distance to the west, after receiving another report of swimmers caught in rip tides. Police officers at the scene said those swimmers were able to get out of harm’s way by