Teen Boy Survives After Plummeting More Than 30 Feet Off New Jersey Cliff

BOONTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey teenager survives after falling off a cliff above a raging river.

CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reports the 13-year-old boy nearly fell into the Rockaway River’s roaring rapids in Boonton on Sunday morning.

“He was about 30 feet from the ledge right here,” said Boonton Fire Chief R.J. Ryerson.

Ryerson showed CBS2’s Conybeare the 60-foot cliff the boy got trapped on around 10:45 a.m.

“It was pretty precarious. He was clinging to the side of the bank with his hands,” Ryerson explained.

The boy, whose name has not been released, was exploring Grace Lord Park with his friends when he suddenly plunged down the embankment. He managed to call 911 on his cellphone and after searching for 30 minutes, police found him.

Firefighters then rappelled down the hill and pulled him to safety.

The park comes with its dangers. Ever since Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, some of the trails have been closed because they were washed out.

“In this area, it’s been blocked off because it’s unsafe as he found out,” said Boonton Police Sgt. Royce Stafford.

The teen injured his wrist in the fall and his friends couldn’t reach him to help.

“He was pretty shaken up,” Ryerson said.

Boonton Mayor Matthew DiLauri praised the emergency response team.

“We’re really grateful that this ended positively with a life saved,” DiLauri said. “It could have been a fatality, absolutely.”

DiLauri wants everyone to pay attention to the posted “no trespassing” signs.

The teen was taken to Morristown Medical Center to be checked out and he is expected to be OK.

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