Evening Chopper Rescue Saves Three Jet Skiers from Ocean City Marsh
A daring rescue in the mud and muck off Ocean City Wednesday evening as three jet-skiers were plucked from the mud and muck by a helicopter.
New Jersey State Police say they were first alerted of the scene at 8:20pm as troopers from their Marine Services Bureau responded to the call of three people stranded on their jet skies in the mud and muck near the Ocean City Airport. One of the skier's mothers have informed officials that the three were stranded in the marsh and couldn't reach shore.
It was quickly determined that it would take police too long to get an airboat to the area, and the tide had just gone out and thunderstorms were moving into the area. There was a definite risk of hypothermia for those who were stranded.
State Police then called for a helicopter. Here's what happened next, according to New Jersey State Police:
A short time later, pilot Sergeant Eric Schmitt and co-pilot Trooper I John Steet along with flight nurse Rich Harris and flight paramedic Tracy Connellan were dispatched to the area. While enroute, the troopers were advised by Operational Dispatch Unit that a U.S. Coast Guard vessel and sea tow vessel were in the area and had visual contact but were unable to get to the stranded riders.
When Sgt. Schmitt and Tpr. I Steet arrived on scene, they located the stranded jet-skiers approximately 200 feet from the shoreline of the airport. Due to the high levels of the mud, the victims could not walk to shore, so Sgt. Schmitt and Tpr. I Steet knew they had a limited amount of time. They quickly lowered the helicopter and maintained a hover just inches from the ground. Sgt. Schmitt and Tpr. I Steet navigated to each jet-skier, where each victim was able to climb directly from their individual jet-skis into the helicopter with the assistance of flight nurse Harris and flight paramedic Connellan.
The three were taken to the Ocean City Airport, where they were met by medical personnel, and all were treated and released.