4 Members of NYSP Earn Awards for Reservoir Ice Rescue

They were commended at today's New York State Police Annual Awards Day Ceremony.

Four members of the New York State Police who rescued three fishermen trapped by breaking ice on the Muscoot Reservoir in March 2013 earned awards at the NYSP's annual Awards Day Ceremony this morning.

  • Trooper Arthur Kakis – H-Field Command (SORT)
  • Trooper Mark Ennis – H-Field Command (SORT)
  • Technical Sergeant James Torhan - Aviation
  • Mr. Raymond G. Giganti – Aviation (Civilian Employee Recognition Award)
Superintendents Commendation Award winners are selected from the many members who have received Letters of Commendation from the Superintendent during the past year. The awards recognize the recipients’ outstanding performance of duty and exceptional contribution to the New York State Police, officials said in a press release.

Here are the details of the award: 

On March 4, 2013, the New York State Police Aviation Unit received a call of assistance for three fishermen stranded on melting ice on the Muscoot Reservoir in the Town of Somers, Westchester County.  Rescue efforts from local firemen could not be performed safely due to the conditions.

Technical Sergeant James Torhan and Mr. Raymond Giganti piloted a State Police Helicopter, while then Trooper Mark Ennis worked as the hoist operator from the helicopter and lowered Trooper Arthur Kakis 80 feet down to the ice in 30 mile per hour cross winds.

After the first subject was rescued, they returned for a second rescue attempt and were lowered to the ice.  Trooper Kakis was met by a hypothermic and panicky victim who lunged at Trooper Kakis pulling both of them into the icy water. 

Trooper Kakis was able to secure the victim with the Rescue Ring and safely raised them into the aircraft. 

The third subject was rescued by boat by members of the Goldens Bridge Fire Department after the helicopter downdrafts broke up the ice.

The fishermen—Wen N. Chan, from Brooklyn; Chuck Y. To, from Brooklyn; and Chi S. Liu, from New York City—were on the reservoir near the Plumbrook Road bridge off Route 100,  a popular place for ice fishing that is often treacherous in the spring, Second Assistant Fire Chief Jody Leverich of the Somers Fire Department told Patch at the rescue scene. 

In addition to the state police, responding agencies included the Somers, Goldens Bridge and Yorktown fire departments, Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Mohegan Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the Somers Police Department.



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