Video: NJ state trooper lowers partner by rope to rescue hiker, dog

The troopers worked in the dark and rain to pull hiker to safety, footage shows


Noah Cohen
NJ.com

FREDON TWP, Pa. — A New Jersey state trooper was lowered by rope into a ravine to help rescue a trapped hiker and his dog after they got lost in a wooded area of Sussex County, authorities said Wednesday.

Troopers launched the effort after the hiker called 911 around 7:45 p.m. Monday to report he was lost on the Yellow Trail in Fredon Township and stranded on a steep incline, clinging to a tree at the bottom of a cliff, according to the State Police.

Working in the dark and rain, Troopers Sean Sullivan and Russell Cahn worked to find the trail, which was not clearly marked, authorities said. The troopers marked the area with road flares to guide other responders to the area. After driving about a half mile, the rescuers needed to continue on foot, making sure to bring a trauma kit and rescue rope.

Sullivan and Cahn walked for a mile while blowing their whistles and calling out for the lost hiker before they found the man and his dog, according to police. The man was not hurt, but had been in the rain for an “extended period” in 55-degree weather. Troopers searched, but could not find a safe path to the bottom of the ravine.

Stillwater and Green firefighters arrived with equipment for a high-angle rescue.

“Trooper Sullivan tied himself into the climbing rope and was lowered by Trooper Cahn and firefighters. After he reached the victims and determined they were uninjured, Trooper Sullivan attached a rope, which was previously thrown to the victim, to his dog to have it hoisted to safety,” State Police said in a statement.

“Once the dog was safe, he took off the rope that he was secured with and fastened it to the victim,” according to the statement. “Once the victim was hoisted safely, the rope was thrown back down to Trooper Sullivan and his partner and firefighters pulled him to safety.”

“Troopers Sullivan and Cahn and the assisting first responders spent nearly two hours in the rain, darkness and cold temperatures working together to save the hiker and his dog,” the state police said.

Fredon emergency medical responders treated the man at the scene and he was released.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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