NYPD Helicopter Crew Rescues Injured Hiker
May 12, 2014
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  • A hiker who stumbled off a trail along the Palisades and clung to the edge of a cliff some 200 feet above the Hudson River was rescued by officers from the NYPD aviation unit on Sunday.

    Amanda Graham, 36, was hiking with her cousin and aunt along a nature walk about two miles north of the town of Alpine, N.J., when she slipped on a rock about 1 p.m. and fractured her ankle. She tumbled off the trail, which skirts the edge of a palisade.

    “It was like straight out of a movie,” Graham, a native of the Jersey Shore, told the Daily News. “As I was slipping I thought I was going to go all the way down, but I grabbed a rock. I was able to stabilize my fall and I didn’t fall too far down.”

    But she fell far enough down the palisade to make her rescue extremely challenging. She was able to climb up the steep incline for a short distance and rested on a rock shelf.

    Members of the Piermont Volunteer Fire Department tried to rescue Graham, but the cliff was too steep for them to reach her, officials said.

    The firefighters called the NYPD, which launched two rescue helicopters. NYPD Sergeant Antonio Hernandez piloted a helicopter from which a basket attached to a line was lowered down to Graham; she was secured in the basket and airlifted off the cliff face about 6 p.m., officials said.

    “The primary focus was to make sure she was okay,” said Hernandez. “The side of the cliff was very steep. One wrong step and you could fall 200 feet.”

    Graham was taken to Nyack Hospital where she was treated for a broken left ankle and a severe cut on her right arm, officials said.