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Duck hunter rescued from frigid water after kayak overturned

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    HEMPSTEAD, New York (WCBS ) — A dangerously close call for a Long Island man who was duck hunting and suddenly found himself stuck in freezing cold water for an hour.

As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Monday, he managed to make one phone call that saved his life.

Duck hunters flock to the Town of Hempstead, known for the concentration of water fowl there.

But on Jan. 10, the sport nearly claimed one of their lives.

Bill, an East Northport native and avid hunter who did not want to share his last name with CBS2, found himself in 40 degree water when his kayak overturned in Reynolds Channel.

“My first thoughts were, I thought I wasn’t going to see my wife and kid again. I just had to quickly snap out of that mindset and, basically, turn on into survival mode,” he said.

Bill’s phone, which had been submerged, was somehow able to make one call to 911. But rescuers still didn’t have his exact location.

“We had lost communication with him and the search area could have potentially been extremely large,” said Orazio Taddeo, a Town of Hempstead bay constable.

“When we arrived, he was on the marsh waving us down,” said Sal Mastracchio, a Town of Hempstead bay constable. “He was shaking and we got him onto the boat, and as quickly as we could got him back to the shoreline.”

Bill was drenched. His body temperature was alarmingly low.

“I would say a little longer and he would have succumbed to hypothermia,” said Taddeo.

“I believe we prevented a catastrophe,” said Mastracchio.

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