A New York woman drowned while participating in an outdoor paddleboard yoga class near Hashamomuck Pond in Long Island, New York, on Aug. 2, according to local police
Lisa Margaritis, 48, an experienced paddleboarder and registered nurse, drowned while attempting to help another woman who was struggling in strong currents under a bridge in Hashamomuck Pond, according to multiple media reports of the incident. The current caused Margaritis’ paddleboard to become caught against a bridge piling, prompting her to fall into the water. She was tethered to the paddleboard and unable to free herself.
A jogging passerby witnessed the accident, dove into the water and was able to free Margaritis and bring her to shore. Local police, paramedics and fire department personnel responded shortly before 10 a.m. but were unable to resuscitate Margaritis with CPR. She was transported to Eastern Long Island Hospital where she was pronounced dead, according to the Suffolk Times.
Margaritis was wearing an inflatable flotation device around her waist at the time she fell into the water.
“She was a hero in my eyes,” Margaritis’ mother, Jean Weber, told Newsday. “She wanted to save somebody else. She was always kind.”
Police did not release the identities of the two other paddleboarders participating in the class, nor were additional details shared about the organization of the class.
Margaritis was a teacher at Garcia Muay Thai & MMA Gym in Glen Clove, New York. The gym has since launched a GoFundMe page that will benefit the St. Aidan’s Scholarship Fund in memory of Margaritis. As of Aug. 8, the effort has raised more than $7,000 toward its $10,000 goal.
Margaritis was also an instructor at Life Time Athletic Garden City, Garden City, New York, according to her public Facebook page.