In a daring mission just yards from the brink of Niagara Falls, U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew members on Wednesday pulled a woman’s body from a vehicle almost completely submerged in the frigid rapids.
Those in the area started calling authorities around noon local time after seeing a black vehicle floating down the Niagara river, New York State Park Police Capt. Chris Rola said. A person seen inside wasn’t moving, he added.
Crews arrived at the scene and found the vehicle about 50 feet from the waterfalls.
Temperatures in the area were around freezing and water temperatures were in around 43 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Rola stated that swift-water rescue teams couldn’t reach her vehicle because of the “inherent risk” and called U.S. Coast Guard for assistance. It was captured on video Pictures And Video Photos shared on social media showed the car nearly submerged, with only a small portion of its roof visible and an open trunk hatch seen through the whitewater.
The helicopter was slowly lifted a Coast Guard diver. The diver, who was carrying an ax, climbed into the car and pulled out the body of its lone occupant, a woman in her late 60s, authorities said. After being taken to shore, she was declared dead.
Rola claimed that the motive for the woman’s entry into the river is not known. But he stated that the vehicle was found in the area of a pedestrian and vehicle bridge. According to Rola, authorities are conducting an investigation.
Rola claimed that the woman was from the region. In the meantime, Rola did not release her name.
The vehicle was rescued from about 50 feet away from the American Falls. This is one of the three Niagara Falls waterfalls. As emergency personnel prepared to rescue the car from the waters, the eyes of the public watched.
As light snow fell, roads in this area became slippery.
Contributing: Associated Press