GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A man was rescued from the entrance of a sluice pipe by Guilford police and the man’s wife Wednesday morning.
Guilford Police Department detailed the dramatic water rescue on Facebook on Wednesday.
GPD reports early Wednesday morning officers responded to a 911 call near 200 Leetes Island Rd. The caller reported a man had fallen “into the water while crabbing and was now trapped in the entrance of the sluice pipe that runs under the roadway.”
The caller – later identified as the trapped man’s wife – was holding on to the victim who was in danger of being sucked into the pipe “due to the outgoing tide and powerful current.”
“The victim had fishing waders on which had quickly filled with the rushing water, causing significant drag into the pipe area. The pipe narrows under the roadway and the victim may have become lodged in the pipe versus passing through to the other side,” explained GPD.
When officers arrived, they were able to use rope they had in their patrol vehicles to secure a safety line under the man’s arms for a water rescue and pull the man to safety.
“This situation had an amazing outcome with no injuries suffered by the victim. There were several things that could have easily lead to his death had his wife not been there to call 911 and help support him and hold him above water until officers arrived,” GPD added.
Police credit the man’s wife as one of the key reasons officers were able to locate and save her husband. She had Siri voice-activated on her iPhone and shouted at the phone to “call 911” because she could not safely let go of her husband. Police said the phone dialed and 911 fire dispatchers “were able to locate the victim through the state 911 tracing system.”
Police warn the public that many sluice pipes exist throughout the state and along the shoreline and inlet areas. “When the tide is coming in or out, the sheer force of the current prevents even the strongest of swimmers from swimming to safety,” they said.
According to police, this area on Leetes Island Road has seen three incidents like this one in the last two years. Police urge the public to avoid these kinds of areas when fishing, crabbing, clamming, or other water activity.
“The area around this sluice pipe is posted no trespassing but the victim in this case fell and was swept into this area with the current,” GPD explained.
“This was a job well done by the victim who stayed calm, his wife who was able to call 911 and hold on to him, and the swift efforts of Ofc. Dillon and Ofc. Mastriano who were able to pull him to safety,” Guilford Police said.