NJ State Troopers Rescue Man Stuck in Swamp Near Turnpike

Chris Jasurek
By Chris Jasurek
March 24, 2018US News
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NJ State Troopers Rescue Man Stuck in Swamp Near Turnpike

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A man trying to help a friend move a stuck car near the New Jersey Turnpike ended up needing rescuing himself.

According to a Facebook post by the New Jersey State Troopers, Trooper Victor Rios spotted a man standing on the right shoulder of the northbound lane of the New Jersey Turnpike.

When Trooper Rios stopped to inquire, he learned that the man’s cousin was stuck in a swamp next to the highway.

Apparently, this person had tried to walk across the marshy area to reach the car of a friend, who had gotten stuck on the other side. The would-be rescuer soon found himself mired in the muck, waist-deep in freezing water and unable to move.

Troopers had to aim their headlights into the swamp to see the victim, who was stuck in the mud and slowly freezing. (New Jersey State Police Facebook screenshot)
Troopers had to aim their headlights into the swamp to see the victim, who was stuck in the mud and slowly freezing. (New Jersey State Police Facebook screenshot)

Trooper Reinaldo Cruz arrived on the scene shortly after Trooper Rios. He found the scene so dark he had to aim his car’s headlights and spotlight into the swamp to see the trapped man.

“It’s as if it was quicksand or cement,” Cruz told NJ.com. “He was already above waist-high.”

The pair tried to reach the enmired victim with a branch, but the victim was too weak after standing so long in the frigid water and was not able to help himself.

Several more troopers came to assist. They tried to form a human chain to reach the trapped man, but the victim was too far from shore.

Troopers yanked the victim free from the mud with brute force. (New Jersey State Police Facebook screenshot)
Troopers yanked the victim free from the mud with brute force. (New Jersey State Police Facebook screenshot)

Finally, Trooper Renato Antunese broke out the lifeguard rescue equipment and threw the flotation device to the freezing man. Luckily he was able to wrap the rope around himself, even if he was too weak to hold on.

Once he had the line wrapped around him, the troopers teamed up to yank him out of the mud and drag him to shore.

The man had been dug in pretty deep. The video shows that it took at least seven troopers to pull the half-buried man free of the mud.

Units from the Elizabeth Fire Department and EMS arrived on scene and evaluated the victim, who was showing signs of hypothermia. He was transported to Trinitas Hospital where he was treated and then released.

 

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