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Helicopter crew rescues firefighters stranded when rescue boat goes over falls

June 30, 2023  By The Associated Press

CLIFTON, N.J. (AP) — Two firefighters involved in a rescue effort in a New Jersey river became stranded themselves when their boat went over a waterfall, but a state police helicopter crew was eventually able to bring the pair to safety.

No injuries were reported in either of Wednesday’s rescues in the Passaic River, authorities said.

The Clifton firefighters were among emergency responders who were helping three people stuck in two boats on the river around 3 p.m. when their rescue boat plunged over the falls at Dundee Dam in Clifton and into the river below. A third firefighter who was in the rescue boat managed to get out before it went over the falls, authorities said.

The state police helicopter soon arrived and crews began extracting the firefighters, who were stuck in the partially submerged boat in the river’s swift currents. The first rescue was done quickly as a rescuer repelled down about 100 feet (about 30 meters) to bring one person to safety, but the second took a little longer as rescuers had some troubles reaching the second firefighter.


The people who the firefighters had been helping were part of a small team of contractors working on a construction project upstream, authorities said.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2021


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