NYPD Helicopter Brings West Point Cadets To Safety In Dramatic Rescue

WEST POINT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A daring NYPD helicopter rescue in the midst of darkness and dangerous winds safely delivered two West Point cadets Sunday morning from an 18-inch ledge, where they were stranded.

Authorities said the 20-year-old men were rescued from a nearly vertical rock formation after they became trapped while rappelling down a West Point mountainside.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon with more on the dramatic rescue

rescue team NYPD Helicopter Brings West Point Cadets To Safety In Dramatic Rescue

(Rescue Team Photo L-R: Officer Steven Browning, Detective Michael Sileo, Detective Fernando Almeida, Detective Christopher Condon, Detetctive William Stevens)

“They were up on that ledge anywhere from eight to twelve hours,” Captain James Coan, Commanding Officer of the NYPD Aviation Unit, told 1010 WINS.

The cadets were located after their cellphones were pinged. Despite the fact that they did not know where they were, local authorities in Orange County were able to get a grid coordinate on the men from the ping.

Authorities said the helicopter from the police department’s aviation unit steadied itself against winds above 30 mph as it hovered about 60 to 80 feet above the men, its blades just 20 feet from the rocks.

Ground rescue teams were unable to reach the cadets because of obstacles including “steep rock faces and ledges,” according to officials.

Coan said the cadets were in “good condition” when they were found. They were treated for hypothermia, they sustained no other injuries.

“They were very happy to be greeted by the NYPD SWAT medic,” he said.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Joanna Asperger

    Wondering why they didn’t call out the Army?

  • Joanna Asperger

    Why didn’t they call out the Army?

  • HUGO

    Thank God everyone was rescued and no one was hurt. HALLELUJAH!

  • brucie

    Ulysses S. Grant graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1843. He enjoyed killing people from the south during the Civil War. Then he became our 18th President. His picture is on the $50 bill, but I don’t have any $50 bills.

    • brucie's mom

      brucie forgot to take his medicine, again. You go to your room NOW young lady! Scoot!

  • Idiot "Cadets"

    Will the two morons be forced to pay the bill for this rescue?

    • Srg

      Its called training, ingrate. These young cadets will be the ones out their soon protecting us from terrorists.

  • Glen Mair

    go nypdas always the ready

  • Glen Mair

    go nyp

  • Lalit

    Occasionally you read something that reminds you just why you are the greatest country in the world.



  • alaninqueens

    West Point can repay NYC by sending down some cadets to shovel out the snow.

  • Fritz Von

    The NYPD has more experienced people than any other agency. Now spend some money and get decent equipment. That helicopter that went to rescue those dopey cadets is over 50 years old, I don’t mean the type, I mean that particular airframe.

    • Captain Vin

      @Fritz, unfortunately you are incorrect about the age of the helicopter used in the rescue.

      NYPD operates 4 Agusta A119s
      N315PD, N316PD both manufactured 2003
      N318PD, N319PD both manufactured 2004
      And 2 Bell 412EPs
      N412PD, N414PD both manufactured 2009

      I can understand your confusion as the 412 is the civilian version of the Vietnam era UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” and looks very similar.

  • Jnb757

    Where were the army rescue helicopters? Apparently? The NYPD had the better crews … In last night’s weather… this was an AMAZING rescue…GO NYPD….

    Hopefully West Point will pay NYC for the cost of the helicopter and crews to fly well north of NYC for a rescue…

    • Rick smith

      The usma does not perform emergencey landings outside of air force bases they did not have the right helicopters at west point to perform this maneuver. When i went to west point helicopters are frequentley in and out but very few military helicopters were equipped with emergencey rescues they are mainly used for training pilots and receiving ammunition from the nearby ammunition plant. The helicopters at west point are just not the type of helicopters to perform these tasks.

      • jnb757

        I live near WP & they have the proper equipment… they use for training… i have watched paratroopers rappelling from them during day and in the middle of the night… it is a part of training…

      • Rick smith

        Im a cadet graduate i would know. But i can see why. We dont have the utilities to make a tough rescue like this one on a windy dark cold night we leave that up to the AF academy pilots

  • KPMc

    Now if we just charge the federal government a billion dollars for that we can forget about any Homeland Security cash or other bucks they are cutting off from us.

    In fact since it’s is an institute of higher learning outside of the city, Albany can chip in another billion to cover the difference in city and upstate education funding.

  • captbill's daughter

    good work indeed nypd, they don’t call you new york’s finest for nothing.



  • david evangelides

    Wonderful work NYPD.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live