Distress Call: A story of simple mistakes and an unbelievable sunset that wasn't’ meant to be

Winter Storm Jonas was the second biggest snowstorm in New York City history.

The storm dropped a whopping 26.8 inches of powder in Central Park, according to the National Weather Service — just short of the 26.9-inch record set in 2006, Reuters reports.

I dug my car out of that whopping 2 feet of snow and when the travel ban had lifted headed straight to the beach to commence shooting three separate sessions from the water on January 25th, 2016.

I knew exactly where I wanted to be for sunset so I suited up for one last swim, soloing in a zone way down the beach in Rockaway away from people so I could take portraits of the waves not surfers. Just so happens that someone genuinely thought I was in trouble and made a call to 911 saying I was “possibly drowning.” Well this was the last image on my SD card fro that night because it was quickly cut short by my “rescuers.”

Next thing I knew there was a helicopter flying above and about 20 firefighters and police officers running down the beach waving me in.  

Channel 4 New New York Flying Above

Channel 4 New York News Chopper hovering over Head while I waved them off.  


I was forced to swim in and all I could do was watch in disbelief as waves kept rolling in and the most epic display of light I’d ever see combine with the raw energy in the ocean that night continued to put in a show for the ages.  Me swimming in looking back at what was not meant to be.
Swimming in at the desmans of the FDNY and NYPD so bummed on what shots could have been.

The 20 plus rescue team made up of the FDNY and NYPD were surprised and a little bit irritated they’d been called out during dinner for a rescue only to find out I was an experienced swimmer, understood my elements, and shooting photos. 


My personal escort courtesy of the NYPD.

I was the politely escorted back to my car by a kind and inquisitive police officer to check my ID.  They were cool about it but these pictures were sent to me by someone who was watching this all go down from his balcony, probably in the same building where the call to 911 has originated and the NBC News Chopper has picked it up on the police scanner. I guess I was a potential story but when they saw me swim in and not drowning I guess it wasn’t news worthy. An unforgettable experience and a simple misunderstanding.

Look at that light.

The epic last light glow that I was forced to miss on display thanks for the images, photos by unknown. 



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