A man spent the night clinging to rocks in the Housatonic River after falling from a railroad trestle on Sunday night and into the river.
Crews responded to the Housatonic River in Derby on Monday morning, took boats out into the river and rescued a man.
The man, who has not been identified, was walking along the trestle over the Housatonic River Sunday night when he lost his footing and fell in, Chief Brian Mezzapelle of the Storm Ambulance Corps told NBC Connecticut. He made it to the rocks surrounding the trestle pylons below, where he stayed until someone spotted him Monday morning.
The man has minor injuries and might have frostbite after being out in frigid temperatures for hours. He was transported to Yale New Haven Hospital.
Rescue crews were able to get three men in a boat and out to the stranded man in about 15 minutes.
The Storm Ambulance Corps is the rescue team for the Derby Fire Department.
With temperatures in the 20s Monday afternoon, it is rare to find victims in these types of conditions with as few injuries as this man, Mezzapelle told NBC Connecticut.
Crews warn that it is dangerous for people to walk on the trestle, which is deteriorating, anytime, but especially when it is icy.
Shortly after the rescue, a person was spotted walking across the same trestle.
“It’s not used as a railroad bridge anymore, at least not for a few years, but it’s very dangerous to be walking out there at any time of the year, but especially now when it’s very icy," Mezzapelle said. "It’s going to be very easy to fall right off.”
Mezzapelle said that in addition to the weather, the man is lucky to survive the strong river currents.
Metro-North owns the tracks that cross the Housatonic River. NBC Connecticut reached out to them for their rules regarding pedestrians on the tracks, but the office was closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.