Dramatic Rescue Near Falls

June 18, 2011 Updated Jun 18, 2011 at 11:59 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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June 18, 2011 Updated Jun 18, 2011 at 11:59 PM EDT

NIAGARA FALLS, NY ( WKBW / release ) Four teens were pulled from the rushing waters of the Niagara river Saturday morning just hundreds of yards from the brink of the Horseshoe Falls.

The teens called 911 around 2a.m. Saturday morning as their boat lost power near Goat Island.

A Parks Police vessel was dispatched to rescue the disabled boaters, but that also became stuck on some rocks about 300 yards from the Falls.

A Canadian rescue helicopter was then called in to pull the boaters and police officers from the water.

Fortunately, everyone was brought to shore safely, and nobody was hurt.

Niagara Parks Police Service based in Canada also assisted in the rescue. Their release follows:

On Saturday June 18th, 2011 at approximately 0546 hours, the Niagara Parks Police Service received a report of a New York State Parks Police (NYSPP) vessel in distress in the Niagara River in U.S. waters above the Horseshoe Falls. The NYSPP vessel had responded to a vessel in distress in heavy fog. After providing assistance to the private boater, the NYSPP vessel experienced difficulties of their own.

NYSPP personnel, unsure in the fog and darkness exactly where their location was in relation to the crest of the Horseshoe Falls, were forced to take emergency measures to affix their current location in the river until the fog abated during sunlight.

Due to the heavy fog at their base, the Erie County Sheriffs Department were unable to safely take off to assist. The Niagara Parks Police Service High Angle River Team (HART) responded from the Canadian side with Niagara Helicopters Inc., pilot Ruedi Hafen.

By approximately 0810 hours, utilizing the short haul rescue techniques the officers had trained for with Mr. Hafen, the Niagara Parks Police Service HART officers were able to successfully extract both NYSPP officers from the disabled police vessel and return them safely to shore on the U.S. side of the border. “The operation was a a little complicated due to the winds and the river’s current,”

Niagara Parks Police Service HART coordinator stated, “but communications were handled effectively between both police agencies and Niagara Helicopters.

The fact that we had all trained together for this type of occurrence assisted us greatly.”