MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Emergency responders helped recover three people, a mother and two teens, who ventured out on a dock-like structure in Sandy Hook Bay in Middletown, New Jersey Tuesday.

The incident took place at around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday.

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Middletown police said the 14-year-old girl apparently walked out on a pipe extending from the shore and fell off into the icy cold water.

EMS Spokesman Bob Pfleger told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith dive teams raced to the scene in the Leonardo section of town.

Footage from the scene showed rescuers, wearing protective gear, dragging the girl across the surface of the icy waters on a rescue sled. The rescuers repeatedly plunged into the water, which did not appear to be very deep at the site, as the ice beneath them gave way.

“They had their cold water immersion suits which allow them to go out in this kind of weather and keep themselves protected,” Pfleger said.

The other two women were escorted back to safety by rescuers.

According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the water was 30 degrees at the time.

The girl was taken to the hospital with signs of hypothermia, Smith reported.

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“I saw police, fire trucks,” one onlooker told 1010 WINS’ Rebecca Granet.

A bad situation could have been much worse. It was a dangerous task for rescuers who maneuvered through the chunks of ice.

“It was a little chilly. It was a lot of slush. The ice is all broken so it floats around,” rescuer Jack Houston told CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco. “Luckily today, it wasn’t windy. If it’s windy, the ice sometimes moves even more.

“The whole thing is no ice is safe ice, and people need to stay off the ice,” rescuer Jack Huston told CBS2’s Christine Sloan.

As Sloan reported, the teens were playing on the ice when one of their mothers noticed what was happening and tried to get them off the ice, ending in she herself being trapped.

Emergency officials said all three are doing okay, but they were lucky they didn’t get trapped under the ice. Residents said that part of the bay never completely freezes over.

“It’s takes a lot more for it to freeze and when it does, it doesn’t take much to break through,” Middletown resident Justin Santiago said.

All in all, it was a close call and a lesson learned.



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