A New Jersey police officer waded through thigh-high rushing water to rescue a woman trapped in a flash flood. Officer Justin Quinlan caught it all on his body cam.
Quinlan spotted the woman clinging to a guardrail on Sept. 1. Hurricane Ida dumped massive amounts of rain on the area causing flash floods. The officer said he knew the water could sweep him away or pull him under, but he couldn’t leave her there alone.
“I said, ‘Man this water is moving way too fast.’ But, I have to go. I can’t sit here and watch something bad happen to her. So, I’m going,” he told Fox 29.
Quinlan fought his way to the same guardrail the woman was clinging to and used it as a guide to get to her.
“Hold on dear, don’t move, okay,” he said as he straddled the metal barrier and moved toward her. When he reached her, he had her straddle the rail to prevent the water from pulling her away. But the scary ordeal was far from over. Quinlan and the woman, whom the police did not ID, had to wait on a rescue boat to pull them out.
That meant sitting in the cold current full of debris for 20 minutes. But rescue crews were able to reach them and take them to dry land.
Quinlan said he realized the danger, but he thought about her family and had to do something.
“I got two little kids at home, two little girls, and I knew I had to get back to them and back to my wife,” he told the news station. “And, I wanted to make sure she got to see her family again, so I wasn’t going to let her go.”
Police did not release the woman’s condition.
Police Capture Rescue of Man who Fell 30 Feet
New York City rescue crews climbed down 30 feet to rescue a man who fell into a storm drain.
The man had a serious cut on his forehead and an injured leg but was OK, all things considered, police said.
“As we got down there he was conscious. He was talking to us, and he expressed pain in his ankle region,” NYPD’s Kenneth Logallo told WABC-TV. “As soon as we got the equipment needed down there, we packaged him up.”
But police still aren’t sure how he ended up in the storm drain. There are no pedestrian walkways in that area. Investigators believe he fell while scaling a ladder in a water shaft. But police are investigating the exact cause of the incident.
“You would never find this place. It was in the middle of nowhere, an old water shaft with a stream running down the bottom of it,” FDNY Special Operations Chief Patrick Ginty told the New York Daily News. “Just an open shaft.”
The man’s brother, who was there when the police arrive, said the man had a history of mental illness.