Two shivering West Point cadets stranded atop a tall cliff on Storm King Mountain were rescued by helicopter after more than eight hours Sunday night. The two cadets, both plebes, had decided to conduct rappelling on their own and found themselves stranded on the 500-foot cliff. (Cockpit video above via New York Daily News.)
The pilot of the New York City police helicopter that hoisted them off an 18-inch wide ledge, Officer Steven Browning, told the New York Times he had never faced such difficult flying conditions.
You’d have never known it from the breezy cockpit chatter in the video and the joshing medic Chris Condon gave the cadets.
“Don’t go anywhere,” Condon reportedly joked as he placed a rescue collar on the first cadet to be hoisted aboard the chopper at 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
The father of five then radioed his crew.
“When you drop the kid off, bring back coffee for us,” he said, pressed against the mountain face with the shivering cadet, who broke into a grin.
The cadets, wearing only camouflage fatigues with fleece outerwear when they were rescued didn’t say much to their rescuers, Browning told the New York Times. “It’s a very noisy helicopter and there was not much spoken.”
(A side note: The chief of the NYPD Aviation Unit, Capt. James Coan, also happens to be a lieutenant colonel New York National Guard.)[via New York Times, New York Post and New York Daily News]