WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The City of Watertown Fire Department has released details regarding a water rescue early Friday morning.
According to the Fire Department, crews were dispatched at 5:41 a.m. on May 20 to a reported car in the Black River near the Eastern Boulevard Bridge in Watertown.
Upon arrival, Watertown fire personnel found that a car had left the road on the southeast side of the Bridge and was submerged in the intake canal for the Watertown hydro plant. At this time, the car was not visible.
The Watertown Rescue Company then arrived with its Swift Water Rescue Trailer and swift water technician were deployed in one of the Fire Department boats to try and locate the vehicle.
Assistance was requested from the New York State Police Dive Team and Jefferson County STAR Team and the hydro plant was directed to stop flow while rescue efforts were under way.
The driver of the vehicle was located by Watertown Police officers 250 upriver on the shoreline. The individual was rescued on the shoreline and treated by Guilfoyle Ambulance. Fire personnel said the driver who removed themselves from the car and swam to shore.
SWAT team members later located the vehicle submerged in 30 feet of black, cold water in the area the victim was located. Divers then entered the water to complete a search and found no additional victims trapped.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation was then called to the scene due to fluids possible leaking. DEC and WFD Hazardous Material Technicians placed oil absorbing booms upriver prior to removing the vehicle. However, there was no possibility of oil contamination in drinking water as the canal only services the Hydro plant.
Once booms were placed, the WFD was assisted by Roadside Warriors to remove the car from the water.
NYSP divers placed a sling through the engine and Roadside Warriors used their rotator wrecker to bring the vehicle to shore.
All units cleared the scene by 9:54 a.m.