- After a heroic rescue in Flanders Bay in April, Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman
(I-Montauk) is honoring Southampton Town Senior Bay Constable Christopher Kohnken and Southampton Town Bay Constable Richard Franks for their efforts in the rescue.
On April 8, 2009, at approximately 11:30 a.m., Dineen O'Rourke and Stephanie Vitarelli, both 14, were practicing softball in the backyard of Stephanie's parents' home near the mouth of Goose Creek
in Flanders when the ball they were using landed in the water. When the two girls attempted to use a small dock to paddle over and retrieve the ball, it drifted out into the water. Laura Vitarelli, also playing softball with the girls, struggled to pull her sister and friend back to shore by swimming toward the dock
and grabbing rope that was attached to it. However, her efforts were unsuccessful. Laura ran home and alerted her mother to the unfolding incident, and the Southampton Town Police Department was notified. In turn, the police contacted the Southampton Town Bay Constables.
The girls had drifted more than a mile from where they had initially entered Flanders Bay, all the way to Simmons Point in Jamesport, when they were finally rescued at approximately 12:10 p.m. The girls required no medical attention.
Both Kohnken and Franks were honored with proclamations from Legislator Schneiderman's office.