ECO’s Rescue Stranded Fishermen During Winter Storm Jayden
Thursday, February 07, 2019
On Jan. 30, ECOs Lt. Steven Bartoszewski and Bret Canary were positioned at New York State Police’s Watertown barracks as part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Winter Storm Jayden detail.
Heavy bands of lake effect snow across central Jefferson County kept first responders busy with cars off the road and motor vehicle accidents. At 5:45 p.m., Jefferson County 911 called for assistance for two stranded fishermen in a truck on Chaumont Bay, Lake Ontario, off Three Mile Point. The ECOs responded on snowmobiles in 45 mph winds and whipping snow that limited visibility to under 100 feet. Members of the Chaumont Volunteer Fire Department made phone contact with the two men, obtained a GPS location and relayed it to ECOs on scene. The officers set out across the frozen bay guided only by the GPS pin location and located the vehicle 2.5 miles from the boat launch. The two men were in good condition and relieved to see the ECOs. When the storm descended on the lake, they had attempted to drive off but the truck’s 4-wheel drivetrain wouldn’t engage and they became stuck in a snowdrift. After an hour of trying to drive and with darkness falling, they called for help. The men hopped aboard the snowmobiles and were driven off the ice. They later retrieved their vehicle once the weather broke.