JULY 6 — A rescue drill to test the Westchester (N.Y.) County Police Department’s new 27-foot patrol boat turned fatal last week — for a dummy.
County officials planned to show off the $200,000 rescue vessel named Marine 4 by staging a mock rescue, according to a report in New York’s Journal News newspaper. A dummy wearing a PFD was dropped from a helicopter into an area harbor off Long Island Sound, near GlenIslandPark. The idea was to have the helicopter crew spot the “distressed swimmer” and transmit its location using a GPS transmitter to the rescue boat crew who would perform the rescue.
With a chase boat full of reporters and photographers nearby, the helicopter apparently hovered too close to the water after the dummy was dropped, and the propeller wash caused the dummy to slip out of its PFD and sink, the report says. The boat crew managed to retrieve only the PFD.
“The guys in the bomb squad are going to be mad,” one of the police officers says in the report. “That was their dummy.”
— Jason Fell