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Emily Fedorko, 16, killed by boat propeller: Greenwich teen tubing on L.I. Sound

Connecticut teen, Emily Fedorko, dies when caught in boat propeller tubing on Long Island Sound.
Connecticut teen, Emily Fedorko, dies when caught in boat propeller tubing on Long Island Sound.

A tubing accident ended the life of 16-year-old Emily Fedorko off Greenwich Point on Wednesday. An afternoon of four friends tubing on Long Island Sound turned fatal when Emily and a friend fell off the tube that was being towed by a boat. When the boat circled around to retrieve the girls in the water they were struck by the boat’s propeller, according to Connecticut News on Aug. 8.

Emily’s friend was seriously injured by the boat’s propeller. Two other friends were in the boat as the four Connecticut teens enjoyed a summer afternoon on the shore of the Nutmeg State.

The police dispatcher got the 911 call at 2:28 p.m. that requested “multiple emergency medical units, fast,” according to The Greenwich Times. Drew Marzullo, who has spent the past 23 years on the Greenwich Emergency Medical Service as a paramedic said that something about the call was unsettling to him.

As a veteran on the team he has learned that many 911 calls sound bad, but they actually are not. The call to go to Greenwich Point was not one of those times, this was bad, said Marzullo.

Marzullo’s team was nine miles away from the accident and they rushed to get there. Joe Soto, who is the director of the Greenwich Emergency Services was closer, just six minutes out from the location. Soto and another GEMS supervisor rushed to get to the Greenwich Yacht Club, where the dispatcher told them to meet the boat.

Soto and his co-worker were the first emergency medical personal to arrive on scene. They saw a police officer looking awfully grim standing on the dock next to the boat.

The two girls who had been inside the boat when the accident occurred were escorted inside the yacht club, but the two girls who were in the water and hit with the boat’s propellers remained on the floor of the boat.

According to the Greenwich Times, all four girls, two who were 15 and two who were 16, were out on one of their father’s boats. The 16-year-old driving the boat was licensed to do so. They were tubing, being pulled by a powerful 21-foot Wahoo, powered by a 200 horsepower outboard engine, when they hit a wave and thrown off the tube.

The two teens in the boat circled back to pick up their friends in the water, but the girls were hit by the propeller. The two teens on the boat had to work past their shock. They pulled the two girls into the boat and sped off to the dock at the yacht club.

Emily was badly cut about the torso and the other girl’s leg was badly cut by the propeller blades. When the EMTs arrived a police officer was in the boat attending to the wounds on the girl whose leg was badly injured. Another police officer stood on the dock, as it was apparent there was nothing that anyone could do for Emily.

Soto said that her injuries could not sustain life. She was “essentially dead on arrival” at the dock. They attended to the other girl until the first ambulance arrived. She was put on an “advanced life-support system” and transported to Stamford Hospital where she received “extensive stitching.” She is recuperating from her wounds.

Once the injured girl was transported, the EMTs turned their attention to the girls inside the yacht club. While they did not have any bodily injuries, they were dealing with a tragic event. They needed to be taken to the hospital for further evaluation.

According to Greenwich Times, “the entire medical response lasted 30 minutes.” After the paramedics and police had done their jobs, they too had to deal with what they just witnessed. Marzullo explained:

"The fact that these were children takes it to a different level," he said. "We're not immune to emotion, no matter how long you've been doing this. I couldn't stop thinking about the girl and her family and still can't."

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