A man was rescued via helicopter Thursday afternoon after he fell 35 feet on a 600-foot commercial ship, police said. He was rescued by the NYPD’s Aviation Unit sometime after 2 p.m.
The man was found unconscious about 12 miles south of the Rockaways, Det. Christopher Maher, the rescue pilot, said during an early evening news conference.
The victim was taken to Staten Island University Hospital in stable condition.
With no doctor on the ship, known as The High Courage, the aviation team was called and arrived in about 15 minutes, Det. Mel Maurice with the Emergency Services Unit said.
“He said he was having a hard time breathing,” Maurice said, adding that he administered oxygen and talked the man through the experience. “It is a rather stressful thing to be laying out flat and being hoisted into the aircraft like he was. So as we were going up, I was actually making eye contact with him the whole time, trying to let him know everything was OK.”
Maurice praised the use of the helicopter, noting that “it would have taken at least 20 to 30 minutes for a boat to get out there.”
“Without the Aviation Unit, time is wasting,” he said.
The ship’s crew is from India, Maurice said.