Police, Fire Rescue Woman From Mill Race Waters

Police, Fire Rescue Woman

From Frigid Mill Race Waters

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Oneonta police officers and firefighters rushed to the spillway between the Oneonta Creek and Neahwa Park last evening to rescue a woman who had gone into the water in an alleged suicide attempt, OPD Lt. Christopher Witzenburg reports.

The woman, 34, was reported missing by family members who told police she had threatened self-harm. She allegedly told her family that she was under a bridge by some water, and Officer Kristen Lapointe spotted her behind the Post Office, headed south towards the railroad tracks.

When Lapointe attempted to make contact with her, the woman went into the creek at the Neahwa Park spillway.

Because Lapointe was not equipped for cold-water rescue, she remained on the shore and continued to observe and talk to the woman. When additional officers arrived on the scene, they attempted to throw a rope to the woman, but she refused to take it.

“The water was shallow, but there was a current,” said Witzenburg.

Firefighters William Plymell and Charles Barringer put a rescue line across the water and within 15 minutes, the woman allowed the current to take her to the line, where they assisted her out of the creek.

She was treated for cold-water injuries and transported by ambulance to Fox Hospital.

“Everybody did a great job,” said Witzenburg. “It’s a pleasure to get to work with the fire department to see something come to a successful conclusion.”

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