May 25, 2022

Woman safe after Knollwood pier rescue in Old Saybrook

The Past Chief of the Old Saybrook Fire Department, David Heiney, responded to an emergency at the Knollwood pier yesterday and played a key role in a dramatic rescue of a woman from the Long Island Sound.

On Wednesday Dec. 29 at 0940 Hrs, the Old Saybrook Fire Department received a 911 call reporting that a female was in the water off the Knollwood Pier in Old Saybrook (Long Island Sound). The Old Saybrook Fire Department, Police Department and Ambulance were dispatched to the scene.

Past Chief David Heiney of the O.S.F.D. responded to the scene in his personal vehicle. When Heiney arrived, he was told that a woman was in the water off the end of the pier. Heiney entered the water to rescue the woman.

Officer James Kiako of the Old Saybrook Police Department arrived on scene and retrieved his rescue rope that is kept in the trunk of his patrol car. Kiako went out onto the pier and threw the rescue rope to Heiney as he was swimming to the victim. Kiako tied the rope to the railing of the pier. Heiney was able to grab onto the rope and swim to the victim.

Firefighter Rebecca Lucas and Kiako went down onto the beach to enter the water to assist Heiney. In the meantime, Heiney had grabbed onto the victim and started to swim to shore. A civilian, Jerry Gintoff was on the pier assisting in the rescue. 

Gintoff took the rope off the railing and pulled Heiney and the victim to the shore.  Heiney was met in the water by firefighter Lucas and Kiako. The woman was pulled from the water and was still breathing.

The victim was transported to the Middlesex Medical Center in Essex by the Old Saybrook Ambulance and treated for hypothermia. Heiney and Lucas were also transported to the Medical Center and were evaluated and released.

Reported by Max Sabin of Old Saybrook