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Queens Chronicle

LI woman survives fall from Whitestone

Port Authority police rescue her

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Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:49 am, Thu Feb 21, 2013.

A Long Island woman survived a fall from the Queens side of the Whitestone Bridge on the morning of Feb. 7.

The 57-year-old woman, whose name is being withheld by the Queens Chronicle, was rescued at about 8:20 a.m. by two Port Authority police officers who were on routine patrol in their boat a short distance away, off of LaGuardia Airport.

The bridge, which connects Queens and the Bronx, is just over 134 feet above the water at its maximum height.

Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman said Marine Officers Frank Misa and Mitchell Richter were on duty in Flushing Bay, a patrol that sources said is maintained for both aircraft search and rescue and antiterrorism operations.

“When the call came over their radios, they were only about two or three minutes away,” Coleman said.

The officers found the woman floating in the water and tossed her a flotation device, allowing them time to put their boat in the proper position to effect the rescue. Both Coleman and Robert Egbert, spokesman for the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, said all the agency’s officers have extensive, mandatory medical training.

Egbert said some officers’ training is quite advanced, but that such a water rescue still could have been dangerous without knowing the full severity of the woman’s injuries at the time.

“I believe today’s rescue ... is a good example of the dedication and devotion to duty of PA cops,” he said.

He added the patrols had been curtailed recently by the PA until lobbying by the union and Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens and Bronx) got them restored.

Misa and Richter brought the woman to the nearby Malba Field and Marine Club marina where EMS personnel from the FDNY were waiting to take her to New York Hospital Queens in Flushing.

A source told the Chronicle that the woman suffered a broken leg. Published reports said she has a history of emotional problems.

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