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State Trooper Lowers Partner On Rope To Rescue Hiker, Dog Trapped On Sussex County Cliff

Trooper Sean Sullivan and Trooper Russell Cahn
Trooper Sean Sullivan and Trooper Russell Cahn Photo Credit: NJSP

A New Jersey State Trooper was lowered by rope to rescue a hiker and his dog after they became lost on a trail in a wooded Sussex County area.

Troopers from the Sussex Station were sent to the area off of Yellow Frame Road in Fredon after the victim called 9-1-1 reporting he was stuck on a steep incline at the bottom of a cliff on Monday around 7:45 p.m., State Police said.

When Trooper Sean Sullivan and Trooper Russell Cahn arrived, it was dark and raining as they attempted to locate the trail, which was not clearly marked.

Once they located the entrance, the troopers marked the area with road flares so that additional response units would be able to quickly locate the trail. The troopers drove their car approximately a half mile into the trail before they continuing on foot for about a mile, blowing their whistles and calling out to the victim.

The victim -- holding a tree for stability -- and his dog were uninjured, but the temperature was 55 degrees, and they had been out in the rain for an extended period of time, police said.

Members of the Green Township and Stillwater Township Fire Departments arrived at the scene with equipment to perform a high-angle rescue.

That's when Trooper Sullivan tied himself into the climbing rope and was lowered by Trooper Cahn and firefighters, State Police said.

Click here for body camera footage.

After reaching the victims and determined they were uninjured, Trooper Sullivan attached a rope, which was previously thrown to the victim, to his dog to have it hoisted to safety.

Once the dog was safe, he took off the rope that he was secured with and fastened it to the victim. Once the victim was hoisted safely, the rope was thrown back down to Trooper Sullivan and his partner and firefighters pulled him to safety, the news release said.

Troopers Sullivan and Cahn and the assisting first responders spent nearly two hours in the rain, darkness, and cold temperatures working together to save the hiker and his dog.

Fredon Township EMS treated the victim on scene and cleared him to be released.

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