William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews
GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (July 12, 2021)--A 911 call was received by Gloucester City Police and the Fire Department around 10:30 AM stating a woman was seen floating in distress near the North Wind Schooner at Freedom Pier.
Police spokesperson Lt. Jason Flood, said Police Officer Michael Becker was the first to arrive at the scene. He saw the victim hanging precariously to a rope that was attached to the schooner. Her face was barely above the water.
Since the gate of the security fence was locked Becker jumped about 10 feet from the pier onto the schooner and instructed the woman to pull herself toward the deck where he was positioned. He was unable to lift the woman aboard because the draft of the schooner was so deep.
Minutes later Fire Battalion Chief Desmond Chiodi and Police Officer Shane Kenney arrived. Seeing that Becker needed assistance to lift the woman up and onto the schooner, Chiodi climbed over the 8-foot security fence while Kennedy jumped several feet from the pier across the water to the schooner to help with the rescue.
Flood said the Police Department commends the patrolmen and the firefighter for their efforts. "Officer Becker, Officer Kenney, and Battalion Chief Chiodi risked their own safety to rescue the distressed female and are commended for their actions. We are thankful for their efforts, the situation could have been a lot worst."
A passerby saw the woman, who is from Gloucester City, in the water and called 911. It is not known how she got into the water. Her age and medical condition were not released. The fire department does have a key to the security gate which they unlocked to remove the woman from the schooner. It is not known if she was taken to a hospital.