VIDEO: Police rescue man who seemed ready to jump from ferry

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 12:16 PM EDT
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NEW YORK (Gray News) - A man was taken to a hospital for evaluation after police say he attempted to jump out of a Staten Island ferry window.

He was saved by the New York Police Department Monday in a daring rescue operation.

The rescue of an apparently emotionally disturbed man happened the middle of New York harbor. He’d been clinging to the outside of a Staten Island ferry, seemingly ready to jump.

It’s something officers said never had been attempted before.

“This is a first, as far as rescuing somebody in distress button the outside of a ferry,” said Sgt. Darion Brooks of NYPD Emergency Service Unit.

The NYPD’s elite Emergency Service Unit trains for tons of scenarios. But what played out aboard a rush hour ferry Monday afternoon was a new one.

It started when the man inexplicably climbed out a window.

“And we immediately saw the gentleman hanging off the side of the boat,” said Elijah Bryer, an officer with NYPD Staten Island Ferry Unit.

Bryer and his partner, who are assigned to the ferry, are seen on the video trying to reason with him as they called for backup.

From three different boroughs, officers suited up and hitched rides on police boats to intercept the ferry, which had stopped near the statue of liberty.

“Some people were in drysuits, and some were in rope harnesses. In case he actually went into the water or if he stayed on the ferry, we were prepared for both,” Brooks said.

They roped in and inched their way toward the man, who was refusing to talk, his hand ominously in his pocket.

“What is he reaching for, as far as safety for the rest of the officers were all taking note of it,” said Giancarlo Gambino, the officer assigned to make the actual rescue.

In the video, he’s seen just to the man’s right.

“And when the time was right, we made our move. I reached around, my partner reached around me, grabbed me and everybody came in. We were able to secure him without any incident,” Gambino said.

“All of your training come together and you can successfully safe someone’s life someone who’s in distress, it makes it all worth it,” Brooks said.

Help is available to those in crisis by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. The lifeline gives free, confidential emotional support to people 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the United States.