ELIZABETH — A man who had gotten stuck in frigid swamp water in North Jersey was able to escape serious medical problems thanks to an alert state trooper.

Early on the morning of Saturday, March 17 Trooper Victor Rios noticed a man standing next to his car on the northbound New Jersey Turnpike in Elizabeth near Ikea, according to the State Police. When Rios stopped to help the man he was told that man's cousin got stuck in a nearby swamp after he had tried to help another person.

When Trooper Reinaldo Cruz arrived the two officers tried at first to use a large branch to pull the man to safety, but the water was too cold, and the man was too weak to hold on, police said. After more troopers arrived at the scene they worked together to form a human chain, but were still unable to reach the man who was now showing early signs of hypothermia.

Eventually the man was brought to safety after Trooper Renauto Antunese got some lifeguard equipment from his car and pull the man out of the swamp.

The man, whose identity was not disclosed, was checked by members of the Elizabeth Fire Department and EMS. He was taken to Trinitas Hospital, where he was released after receiving further treatment.


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