Watch N.J. State Police Rescue 2 Stranded Firefighters from Raging River

June 29, 2023
Clifton firefighters became stranded in the fast-moving Passaic River while performing a water rescue, and a New Jersey State Police helicopter was called in to lift them out.

New Jersey State Police troopers in a helicopter made a dramatic water rescue to save two firefighters stranded on a boat in a fast-moving river Wednesday.

The state police's came after Clifton firefighters made a rescue of their own along Passaic River, WABC-TV reports. A team of contractors working on a project along the Dundee Dam Falls became untethered from another boat, and they floated until on the water until they were teetering on the edge of the falls.

The firefighters were able to save the contractors, but during the rescue, the firefighters' boat went over the falls with the first responders on board. Although the contractors had gotten to safety, the firefighters were stranded on the submerged boat in the rushing water of the river.

Fortunately, a New Jersey State Police helicopter had been nearby, and troopers went to help the firefighters.

"They just happened to be in the area with their helicopter, which is amazing," Clifton Mayor Raymond Grabowski told WABC. "The chief told me that they were just happy to be in the area and they were called and so that helped."

As the helicopter hovered overhead, a trooper rappelled roughly 100 feet to the firefighters in the river. After 15 minutes and several attempts, both firefigthers were lifted to safety.

As of Wednesday night, both the contractors' boat and the submerged firefighters' rope remained in the river.

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