Police diver rescues 3 men from East River in Long Island City

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Dray Clark reports a detective dove in to help save the men in the water off Long Island City. (WABC)

Three men who jumped into the East River had to be rescued by divers Monday evening.

The waters in the East River are chilly and deep and fast and the men who foolishly jumped in there weren't prepared for any of that.

"We thought he was kidding around, because who jumps in the water here?" one woman said.

"That is very dangerous, it's pretty stupid too," a man said.

Witnesses say the first two men jumped in the East River from the pier as part of a challenge and one of them clearly couldn't swim, and the other was overwhelmed. That's when a Good Samaritan jumped in to save them, but quickly realized he was having trouble.

"He got into the water and he possibly could have realized he was in over his head, because the gentleman that he was trying to help didn't know how to swim," said Det. Mike Merkle, NYPD.

That is when Emergency Services Det. Andrew Sperber, a trained diver, jumped in to save them.

"I jumped down into the water, grabbed the two men, made sure they had their life ring, and the other guy had the pylon and just told them we were going to get them out of the water," Det. Sperber said.

When Sperber got to them, the men in the water were almost losing the battle with the current and they knew it.

"Extremely out of breath and nervous," Det. Sperber said.

Two of the men were hospitalized, one in serious condition.

Related Topics:
rescuewater rescueLong Island City
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