Stranded boaters saved by helicopter in dramatic rescue above Niagara Falls

A rescue helicopter is seen in this file photo. (QMI Agency)

A rescue helicopter is seen in this file photo. (QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:14 PM ET

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Two boaters who somehow drifted close to Niagara Falls were plucked from their broken vessel by a helicopter in a dramatic rescue Monday night.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it responded to a call for help from the disabled boat at about 9:15 p.m.

By the time coast guard rescuers arrived, the boat was anchored 700 yards inside the “exclusion zone” around the falls.

Initial rescue efforts faltered when a salvage vessel got temporarily grounded trying to reach the 19-foot motor boat.

The flow of the Niagara River was slowed to assist in the efforts, and a helicopter plucked the boaters from their craft shortly before midnight.

"The training that we do every day prepared us for this rescue, and it felt great to successfully get these guys out of a tough, and I am sure, scary situation," said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Trichler, pilot of the coast guard rescue helicopter.

The boat is reportedly still on the river and the owners are arranging for it to be salvaged.


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