News, Rescue & Vehicle Extrication

N.J. Responders Rescue Man Who Plunged 35 Feet

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. — A North Bergen man who fell off a Palisades cliff early yesterday morning is in critical condition at Hackensack University Medical Center, officials said last night.

The man was with two friends at a public observation point across from 7501 Boulevard East trying to photograph the New York skyline shortly after midnight Monday, and had scaled a fence for the photo when he accidentally fell from the cliff, officials said.

The North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue was called to the scene to rescue the man. When they were unable to locate him with thermal imaging cameras, two firefighters were lowered over the edge to attempt a manual search in the darkness, NHRF&R officials said.

The pair eventually found the man 35 feet below the edge of the cliff entangled in vines of poison ivy. The ivy prevented him from falling down a steeper incline, officials said.

Using a high-angle rope system that required 25 firefighters to set up, emergency responders were able to haul the man up the face of the cliff, NHRF&R officials said. He was then rushed by ambulance to a helicopter at the Palisades Medical Center at the bottom of the cliff.

The victim was airlifted to Hackensack Medical Center, where was listed in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said. She would not elaborate on the nature of the man’s injuries.

Authorities have not identified the victim, but described him as a North Bergen resident about 30 years old.