LI woman died trying to help classmate during paddle board yoga: lawsuit

A Long Islander who died during a floating yoga lesson drowned because she tried to help a struggling classmate, according to new court papers.

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Lisa Margaritis, 49, was headed under a railroad bridge on Hashamomuck Pond with two others during the August 2019 class, in which people perform yoga on stand-up paddle boards in the water, when a classmate ran into trouble in the pond’s flood tide.

That’s when Margaritis untethered herself from her own board, and swam over to the struggling woman, who was using a rented paddle board from a Southold, NY, company called Peconic Jet Ski.

Margaritis’ husband, Peter, had sued Peconic Jet Ski, Goldsmith’s Boat Shop, The Giving Studio, which offered the stand-up paddle board yoga class, and instructor Lauren Mayo, accusing them of negligence in his wife’s death.

Margaritis allegedly had the woman lay down on the paddle board, tethered herself to the board and tried to guide them both under the railroad bridge, but Peconic Jet Ski now charges those decisions left the board “overloaded” and led to the fatal accident. The classmate survived.

Peconic Jet Ski insists in the legal filing it’s not at fault for Margaritis’ death.

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“She was very loved, she made a huge impact on lots of people,” said Anthony Garcia, owner of Garcia Muay Thai Gym in Glen Cove, where Margaritis trained and worked.

“She made a huge impact on lots of people with her own motivational story, losing a ton of weight. She was able to inspire others to lose weight. She loved everybody who came in the door,” said Garcia.

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