The Wayne County Office of the Sheriff reported a water rescue of several people in distress off the west side of the Sodus Point Pier at 7598 First Street on Thursday (7/2) around 3:35 p.m.
The Wayne County 911 Center received a call for swimmers in distress on the west side of the pier, adjacent to the Sodus Point Beach. Two adult females and one teenage female were struggling in the water and were unable to get to safety.
A bystander on the pier jumped in to assist. The rough waters hindered the bystander’s efforts and he was rescued by others trying to help. A second good samaritan jumped in to assist with rescue efforts and was also overcome. Deputies say the Good Samaritans’ aid was critical in helping save the victims.
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol, assisted by civilians, pulled the unresponsive second man from the water onto the boat. CPR was started. He was transported to the county dock where ambulance crews took over the rescue efforts. That male, Draven M. Starr-Howell, of 363 West Main Street in Palmyra, who was fishing at the time of the incident, had jumped into the water to help rescue the three women. He was transported to Newark- Wayne Community Hospital and eventually transported to Rochester General Hospital, where he later died.
A responding Sheriff’s Deputy Sergeant Aaron DiSanto, provided a rescue rope to bystanders along the pier and entered the water to assist the women in distress. DiSanto later stated he too felt he was in danger. “I thought I was done.”
With the assistance of those good Samaritans and the Sheriff’s Sergeant, the women were rescued. The teenage female was unresponsive while being pulled from the water by Sergeant DiSanto, and was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital and treated for her injuries.
Assisting the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office at the scene were members of the Alton Fire Department, N. Rose Fire Department, Sodus Point Fire Department, Silver Waters Community Ambulance, Eastern Wayne Ambulance, Williamson Ambulance, Wayne County ALS and NYSP.
Lieutenant Robert Milby, of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, said it appears, at this point, the three women were swimming when the undercurrent pulled them out. He said there is no swimming allowed at Sodus Point Beach, and no lifeguards are on duty.
“It was astronomical. Those Good Samaritans were standing by on the pier and helped our Deputy Sheriff Sergeant Aaron DiSanto to rescue these three women. We also had Good Samaritans that helped us recover the gentlemen that was overcome by the waves.”
“Without the quick response of the sergeant who was first on scene, donning his rescue rope and his life jacket, there could have been a very different outcome today,” he added. “The water was too choppy and rough with one hell of an undertow,” he added.