MSP Troopers Perform Daring Aerial Rescue North of the Border


PIKESVILLE, Md. - A Maryland State Police (MSP) helicopter crew plucked three injured people from the Susquehanna River on Sunday, April 29 and flew them to safety after their small boat had been swept over a dam in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Shortly before 2:30 p.m., troopers assigned to the Maryland State Police helicopter “Trooper 1” at Martins State Airport responded to a call for assistance from EMS personnel in Lancaster County, Pa. Troopers were dispatched after it was determined that specialized help would be needed to effect a water rescue near Martic Township. Rescue personnel realized that the victims had been injured to the extent that transport from the rocks by boat was not a safe option.

The helicopter flew to the area and the crew was able to locate three people who were clinging to rocks in the river. The team then conducted hoist rescues of the victims, one at a time. The crew then used their medical expertise to treat the injured patients until care could be transferred to EMS personnel on the ground.

The situation began Sunday afternoon when the six people in a small boat on the Susquehanna River drifted towards the Holtwood Dam. The 16-foot boat’s engine experienced mechanical trouble and stranded the boat in the middle of the river. The boat drifted until six people aboard the boat went over the dam and fell into the river below. Five of the passengers were eventually rescued. A search was conducted for a missing 16-year old girl who was not immediately located. “Trooper 1” returned to the area after nightfall and used a heat-seeking FLIR camera to assist searchers.

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