Oct. 31--Superstorm Sandy forced authorities in Frederick County to make two separate water rescues on Tuesday, both of which ended with safe recoveries, agencies reported.
In one case, two men who decided to brave the flooded Monocacy River in an inflatable raft were rescued by law enforcement and emergency personnel Tuesday afternoon.
Emergency responders were called to the bridge on Devilbiss Bridge Road at about 2 p.m. for a report of two men in the water hanging onto trees, said Chief Matt Staley of the Walkersville Volunteer Fire Co.
Frederick County Sheriff's Office detectives Cpl. Jason West and Cpl. Gregg Warner were nearby along with Maryland State Trooper First Class Nicholas Farioli and Cpl. Diane Hansen and were the first to arrive at the scene.
West said the four went to the riverbank and used throw ropes to secure a man who was partially submerged in the water until firefighters arrived.
"We were able to use the ladder truck from Walkersville, and they got the life ring to the guy who was in the most distress," West said. "They were able to pull him over to us and we were able to secure him and put him in the Stokes basket and pass him off to the fire department for the rescue."
Staley said the man was fortunate to have been secured by a rope to the ladder truck because he eventually lost his grip on the tree and began floating downstream.
The other man, who was in a tree above the water, was rescued by a crew in a boat, Staley said.
Michele Corr, who captured the rescue on video, said she was near the bridge taking photos when she heard people talking about someone getting into the river in a boat.
"I thought, that can't possibly be true," Corr said. "So I drove my car up and was sitting on the bridge. And I saw the guys, and their boat had already gone by. They weren't in the boat for two seconds. There were people up there, so I was screaming for someone to call 911. And I was screaming for them to hold on."
Corr said the detectives and the troopers arrived in less than five minutes and began the rescue.
The two men were taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital. Officials did not identify them; an update on their conditions was not available Tuesday evening.
Cpl. Jennifer Bailey, sheriff's office spokeswoman, did not release the names of the men on Tuesday night.
In another case, a Maryland State Police trooper was rescued from his police car after it filled with water early Tuesday morning, agency spokesman Greg Shipley said in a telephone interview.
The trooper was on duty when he ran into high water on U.S. 40 Alternate at Marker Road in Middletown, according to Shipley, who said crews with the Middletown Fire Co. assisted in the rescue.
The company used a ladder truck to rescue the trooper, who had crawled out of his police car window, Shipley said.
Crews responded to the call at about 2:45 a.m. The rescue took about 45 minutes to complete, and the trooper was taken to FMH for an evaluation, Shipley said.
The Frederick Barrack refused to release any information about the case.
"This is certainly an example of why we are urging people to stay off of the roads," he said.
Copyright 2012 - The Frederick News-Post, Md.