Teen happy to be rescued after fall into abandoned Jersey City well

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- The 16-year-old boy who fell down a well in Jersey City Tuesday night said he is grateful things didn't turn out worse.

Enrique Bermudes ended up 30 feet under an old pump house at Jefferson and Summit avenues near the Jersey City Reservoir.

The building was used once to pump water from the reservoir, but has long since been decommissioned.

Around 8 p.m., Bermudes said he and two friends climbed into the abandoned building through a window to look for a lost cell phone.

Inside the graffiti-covered building, Bermudes said he stepped on a well covered with plywood. The board gave away and he plunged into about 10 feet of water.

In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, Bermudes said he held onto a rail and was treading water for nearly an hour before he was pulled to safety.

"When I swam up, one of the wood (pieces) hit me in the face. Oh, my goodness," he said. "I assumed I broke my nose. My friends ran to my house to get my mom."

Bermudes was in fact treated for a broken nose, and said he's relieved his injuries weren't worse.

This wasn't the first time Enrique Bermudez and his friends explored the vacant pump house but now it's a place he'll never forget.

One second he was on solid ground. The next he was suddenly falling down a dark narrow well that seemed like it would never end.

Bermudez described the terrifying moments following his 40 plunge.

"The water was too deep so I was like trying to float. I was just trying to figure out a way to get out," he said.

Enrique says he and two friends climbed into the abandoned building through a window to look for the phone when he suddenly lost his footing over the well covered by rotting plywood.

His friends immediately ran for help while Enrique desperately held onto a rail and treaded water until first responders arrived.

"Yea he was pretty scared, he was shaken up, frightened, he was shaking," said Jersey City firefighter Gary Garvin.

Using a tripod and harnesses firefighters repelled down the narrow shaft and pulled Enrique to safety.

"He's very fortunate that he wasn't rendered unconscious when he fell and he had friends with him to alert the authorities ," said Jersey City Deputy Fire Chief Richard Lapinski.

With a couple scrapes, bruises, and broken nose Enrique was treated and released from a nearby hospital and wishes he could've said more to the firefighters who saved him.

"Just tell them thank you," he said.

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