March 12, 2007

Man Rescued From Gorge

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A member of the Cornell community was rescued early Saturday morning by the Ithaca Police and Fire Departments after falling through the ice in Cascadilla Gorge.

The Ithaca Police Department responded to a report of cries for help from the portion of the gorge above the College Avenue Bridge at 3:53 a.m. and found the victim drifting into a state of unconsciousness, according to Police Investigator Michael Gray.

“[The victim’s] core body temperature was significantly low [when we found him],” Gray said. “He had fallen face-down into the water, and an officer had to walk down [into] the … gorge and into the water to save him.”

Both the police officer and the victim had to be pulled from the base of the gorge by a rope-pulley system brought by the Fire Department.

The victim was taken by Medevac to Arnot-Ogden Medical Center in Elmira, where he was sedated for treatment of hypothermia-related issues. He also sustained minor trauma to his head and legs. Gray said that none of his injuries appear life-threatening.

A police officer and firefighter were treated at the scene after leaving the water.
By yesterday evening, the victim was awake and alert.

The victim was found almost two hours after leaving another residence in Collegetown, Gray said. He had been walking home by himself after leaving a group of friends around 2 a.m.

The victim was registered as a student at Cornell in spring 2006, but did not register for classes for the 2006-2007 school year.