Young woman rescued after falling through ice in Orange County

PORT JERVIS, N.Y. (WABC) -- A young woman fell through thin ice in a body of water in Orange County known as the Neversink River.

It's something of a misnomer as she would have discovered, if not for a brave cop and firefighter.

It happened Port Jervis on Tuesday.

"She had fallen through the ice and was hanging on," said Officer Michael Decker, Port Jervis Police Department.

Tiptoeing on thin ice, a young Port Jervis woman is lucky to be alive after partially falling through the frozen-over Neversink River behind her home.

Paul Rogers says he got into an argument with his girlfriend, 18-year-old Alessandra Maida over her cell phone, which she threw onto the ice covered river and then tried to recover.

"We got into an argument and she ended up throwing her phone on the river, five minutes later she went to go get it," Rogers said.

911 calls quickly brought 12-year veteran officer Michael Decker to the scene where one of Alessandra's legs had slipped through the cracks trapping her through a small hole.

"She was kind of half in, but the ice was very fragile to the point where it could have broken all the way and she would've ended up in much worse shape than she was," Decker said.

Officer Decker along with the help of Deputy Fire Chief Jim Rohner used a Rescue Disk floatation device and rope to pull Alessandra out and guide her to safety on shore.

"Anytime you're on moving water with current under it, especially this time of year, (you're) just asking for trouble," Decker said.

"Nobody would really make a wise decision going out on the ice in weather like this, you never know how thick it is," said Deputy Fire Chief Jim Rohner, of the Port Jervis Fire Department.

Suffering from shock and hypothermia, Alessandra was quickly rushed to a nearby hospital where she also treated for cuts to her leg.

"Anytime you have water and cold and conditions like this hypothermia is minutes away and that's the rest of your life, and fortunately for her she can enjoy the rest of hers," Decker said.

Authorities say Alessandra is expected to make a full recovery, but warn people should never underestimate the depth of ice on rivers like this.
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