NYPD helicopter rescues elderly man sinking into marsh

NYPD helicopter rescues elderly man sinking into marsh
The man was on his way to a doctor’s appointment when he decided to take a shortcut he used as a child. (Source: WPIX/CNN)

STATEN ISLAND, NY (WPIX/CNN) - New York Police Department officers rescued an elderly man who got stuck in a marshy area Thursday.

The 83-year-old man was heading to Staten Island University Hospital for a doctor’s appointment when he missed the bus. He decided to take a shortcut through a marsh, one he’d taken as a child.

But the area has changed and he ended up having to call 911.

“All of sudden, I don’t know how, but I caught a little hand movement from him out of the corner of my eye,” said Detective Sean Daly, of the New York Police Department.

For almost an hour before that, a crew from the NYPD’s Aviation Unit searched the wetlands behind Staten Island University Hospital.

“I guess he got a little tired, disoriented and ended up falling down and couldn’t get back up,” Daly said.

Once the elderly man was spotted Daly was lowered down from the police helicopter.

“He was laying down- on the edge of the pound, laying down face up, holding onto his briefcase,” Daly said.

Daly used a special suit to attach the man to him.

Officer John Martin, the hoist operator, then lifted the pair.

This was Martin’s first rescue.

“Basically what we train for everyday here,” Martin said. “As a crew, we had a plan. We tacked it. We did our job."

As the man was lifted into the chopper, the fuel light went on, but it was just enough to finish the job.

“Awesome day,” Daly said. “This is why we take this job, to help people.”

The man was wet, cold and tired, but in good condition, police said.

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