First responders came to the aid of a pair of rafters from Long Island who were trapped in a river in the Hudson Valley, authorities announced.
First responders from the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, Wassaic Fire Department, and Town of Amenia EMS were dispatched to a stretch of Ten Mile River at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 18, where there was a report of a man and woman in the middle of the river holding on to a log.
Due to the complexity of the rescue, they established a unified command system was established and additional resources were requested to the scene including:
- Swift-water rescue technicians from the Arlington and LaGrange Fire Departments;
- Sheriff’s Office Marine, Underwater Search, and Recovery and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Units;
- Millerton Fire Department with a Utility Terrain Vehicle;
- Kent (CT) Fire Department;
- Personnel from the Amenia, Dover, and Pine Plains Fire Departments, Town of Dover EMS, Millbrook Fire-EMS, Northern Dutchess Paramedics, Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police, and the New York State Police.
According to the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office, due to recent rainstorms, the area “created challenges for the first responders to access the river and locate the victims,” though members of the department were able to stay in contact with the victims while executing the rescue.
Officials said that the two rafters encountered problems while rafting on the river when a 25-year-old Suffolk County woman from Melville began struggling in the water and was assisted by another Suffolk resident, a 27-year-old from Dix Hills, injuring his shoulder in the process.
Both rafters were able to get onto a downed tree in the river until they could be saved by first responders, who used rescue boats to make the save. The man and woman were both transported by paramedics to Vassar Brothers Hospital for treatment of evaluation.
Officials noted neither was wearing a lifejacket at the time of the save.
“The Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone to avoid rivers, streams, and creeks after rainstorms,” they said. “No one should be engaging in recreational water activity during these dangerous conditions.
“Increased water levels and powerful currents are extremely treacherous. Other hazards such as debris being washed downstream, water obstructions and strainers create a life-threatening situation for anyone in storm waters.”
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