Less than 100 yards from the brink of Niagara Falls, a heart-stopping rescue attempt played out Thursday.
A man clung to a tree in the middle of the fast-moving, frigid waters. The mission that followed was unlike any crews had ever faced.
A tourist was the first to spot the man desperately trying to hang onto a branch in the middle of the Niagara River.
Fire crews moved in quickly, reaching the man and putting a harness over him.
But it did not go as planned.
“It appears the individual fought with him and broke free at that time,” according to Capt. Christopher Rola of the New York State Park Police.
The man is being treated for severe hypothermia.