Long Island man rescued from Sound off Norwalk

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NORWALK -

A Long Island man spent 17 hours stranded in the Sound after his kayak capsized over the weekend, police say.

Rescuers found Michael Diaz, of Huntington, New York, clinging to the rocks at a lighthouse outside Norwalk. He was taken to Norwalk Hospital for treatment.

In an interview from the hospital via FaceTime video chat, Diaz told News 12 Connecticut that he left Lloyd Harbor Village Park on Long Island to go fishing Saturday morning. He said the water grew choppy and flipped his kayak around 6:30 p.m.

His roommate reported him missing the next day. By that time, he'd floated into Connecticut waters.

He was wearing a life jacket and was able to reach Green's Ledge Lighthouse about a mile outside Norwalk, where rescuers from the Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau found him.

"I kept working my way to get as close as I could," Diaz said. "It took about 60 or 90 minutes. I eventually got there at 11:30 in the morning. I put my hand on the rung of that ladder of the lighthouse. I knew at that point, I was OK."

The Nassau County Police Department, the United States Coast Guard and several Connecticut fire departments responded as well. 

Diaz said he expects to get discharged from Norwalk Hospital Tuesday morning.

For anyone else who finds themselves stranded in the Sound, he says they should remain level-headed.

"Keep calm and understand your options," he says. "And also hope for some luck, too."

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