NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) – New London firefighters rescued and treated a man for hypothermia after he spent about 20 minutes in water that was 48 degrees Fahrenheit, according to responders.
At 6:31 a.m. on Saturday morning, crews were sent to Ocean Beach Park in New London on reports of a person in the water near the rocks. Reports noted this person was emotionally distressed.
All 16 firefighters on duty responded to this call. An inflatable boat was deployed, and crews were dressed in cold water wet suits. Firefighter Jason Erben entered the cold water tethered to a rope and pulled the person onto the rocky shore.
Responders immediately began warming measures. The person was reportedly in the water for about 20 minutes and was suffering from hypothermia. The man was then transported to the hospital.
Coldwatersafety.org reports that water temperatures this cold can result in shock, leading to incapacitation and drowning in just minutes.
According to the New London Fire Department, the man’s status could have been much worse if crews did not work as fast as they did.