SMITHTOWN BAY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The desperate search for a missing NYPD officer, who was kayaking with his 5-year-old son off Long Island, continued late Friday night.
Suffolk County police said the missing man is 41-year-old Patrick Luca. According to the Coast Guard, Luca and his son, who was rescued, had been out on the water earlier in the day in Smithtown Bay.
1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan Reports From Kings Park
The search is being led by the Coast Guard, joined by the Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau and local fire departments. NYPD helicopters and divers have also joined the search and are using sonar to try to find the missing officer.
Deputy Inspector Harold Jantzen, of the Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau, said authorities were doing everything they could.
“We’ve basically used everything at our disposal to see if we could bring this to a successful conclusion. We still hold on to hopes that perhaps he made it somewhere and he may be fatigued. We’re going to resume our search in the daylight again tomorrow if we’re not successful overnight,” Jantzen said.
After spotting an empty inflatable kayak, Ted Sandomenico picked up the young boy in his private boat. He was bobbing in the water and shaking violently, 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reported.
“He was upset, he was panicky,” Sandomenico told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
Sandomenico and his wife were boating to Connecticut for the weekend, when they spotted the boy.
“We were out a mile offshore at full speed and we spotted somebody in the water, which is unusual being that far out. So we shut it down, made a U-turn and when we got close, we realize it was a small boy,” Sandomenico said.
The search has been going on since 4:30 p.m. and, according to the young boy, Luca was not wearing a life jacket and went underwater. Authorities were only able to speculate Friday night about what caused the incident.
“We’re assuming that something became unstable in the kayak that caused each of them to fall into the water,” Deputy Inspector Jantzen said.
The Smithtown home of the Luca family was packed with fellow officers, friends and relatives Friday. They were praying and holding out hope Luca would be found safe, while expressing shock that something like this would happen.
“They knew he was going out. He’s done this before and this is not an unusual thing for him to do,” said Det. Mark Maieli of the Suffolk County Police Department.
Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.