BY MANHATTAN NEWS STAFF
Two fishermen were being hailed as heroes last night after saving a pensioner who slipped off Brooklyn’s Canarsie pier and fell into Jamaica Bay.
The men used long-poled hooks to hold the 66-year-old victim up by his sweatshirt and kept his head above water until rescuers arrived.
The 66-year-old man, whose name was not released, had been sitting on a rail when he lost his balance and fell into the water.
The two, identified by a fellow fisherman as Frankie and Ray, leaned over the pier and used the long-poled hooks to hold the man up by his sweatshirt.
“Frankie and Ray grabbed him with a gaff — a treble hook,’’ said Joseph Bologna. “They couldn’t pull him out of the water, but they kept him from going under. If they didn’t use the hooks, he would have drowned.
“He was 230 pounds and the current would have taken him out. The guy was bobbing up and down. They were trying to save him.’’
They kept his head above water, until cops and firefighters arrived. Cops put the man in an FDNY boat and he was rushed to Brookdale Hospital. He was in the intensive care unit last night.
Another fisherman, John Crosby, said that when the man was put in the rescue boat, someone aboard made a sign that he had died.
“But then a guy [another rescuer] jumped from his boat to the other boat and used a defibrillator. The guy [saved from drowning] gave out a big yell and everybody cheered.
“It was a miracle that they saved his life.’’