AMAZING VIDEO shows four men rescued from Penobscot River
"We got a report of a boat with three individuals stuck in the river a little after 3 o'clock," says Capt. Mike Hildreth with the Old Town Fire Department.
The three men are students at the University of Maine. According to the school, they were conducting field work.
"They put their boat in, in an area of town that's pretty sketchy to put a boat in. And they were unable to get it out," explains Hildreth. "So they were trying another location and they hit a rock pretty much dead center."
The men used a cell phone to call for help.
"A warden attempted a rescue and his boat became submerged. He ended up in the boat with them," says Hildreth.
By that time, it was dark and Emergency Responders were concerned about attempting a ground rescue. A Forest Service helicopter was not equipped to fly after dark.
"We can't get a boat in the section of the river because the water is so low," says Hildreth. "Lot of metal, lot of rocks. Our last resort was to call the coast guard out of Cape Cod."
Responders kept in phone contact with the four men every 15-20 minutes to make sure they were ok.
Coast Guard crews hoisted themselves down over the stranded over, individually plucking the victims safely up into the aircraft.
"In no way is this a safe area to be in, especially in the middle of November," says Hildreth.
The four were then flown to Bangor International Airport where they were medically evaluated by Bangor Fire personnel.
"No injuries, just cold," says Hildreth.
Authorities say they're grateful the Coast Guard was available to help.
""We're very gracious," says Hildreth. "They traveled a long ways to get here. Did a fantastic job. It's great that all these agencies can work together when we need to."
The four men spent about five hours on the boast before being rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard.
A statement from the University of Maine thanks all First Responders involved in the rescue.