STATEN ISLAND,New York– On Monday, a remarkable rescue operation unfolded in New York Harbor.
Police successfully rescued an emotionally disturbed man who was clinging to the exterior of a Staten Island Ferry, exhibiting signs of intending to jump.
This rescue was described as unprecedented, as such an operation had never been attempted before.
“This is a first, as far as rescuing someone in distress on the outside of a ferry,” said Sgt. Darion Brooks of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit 5040.
The NYPD’s Elite Emergency Service Unit trains for tons of scenarios. However, that’s what played out aboard a rush hour ferry Monday afternoon, as seen in exclusive video from Newscopter 7.
It started when the man inexplicably climbed out a window.
“We immediately saw the gentleman hanging off the side of the boat,” said Officer Elijah Bryer.
It was Officer Bryer and his partner who were assigned to the ferry.
After trying to reason with the man, they called for backup.
From three different boroughs they suited up and hitched rides on police boats to intercept the ferry, which had stopped near the Statue of Liberty.
“Some people were in dry suits and some were in rope harnesses in case he went into the water or stayed on the ferry,” said Sgt. Brooks. “We were prepared for both.”
They roped in and inched their way toward the man, who was refusing to talk.
Officer Giancarlo Gambino was officer assigned to make the actual rescue.
“When the time was right, we made out move,” said Officer Gambino.
As for the man at the center of this rescue, it isn’t clear what this was all about.
What led him to that precarious perch over the harbor?
Police took him for evaluation at a nearby hospital amid hopes he can get the help he needs.