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
“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.
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