Homeless Man Rescued From Barge In Subzero Weather

A homeless man who jumped from a lock wall of the McAlpine Lock  into an empty coal barge was spotted by the crew of the mv. Laura Tamble and rescued by fire crews at New Albany, Ind. The temperatures were subzero, and the man was treated for extreme hypothermia by responders.

The incident happened on January 2, according to the Facebook page of the New Albany, Ind., Fire Department. The outside temperature was zero with a wind chill in the negative readings. At about 1 a.m., the 911 service received a call from McBride River Fleet requesting assistance for an injured person on a barge on the Ohio River. Local fire crews responded, utilizing the New Albany Fire Department’s Fire Boat and Heavy Rescue 7.

Adam Roseberry, who is a day manager at McBride Fleet, told The Waterways Journal that there is a park near the lock where homeless people are known to camp. He said the crew of the Laura Tamble tossed the man a blanket until rescuers could arrive. The journey from the lock to the fleeting area took about 30 minutes.

Local media reported that the boat and barge were located at a fleeting area, but Roseberry said the boat wasn’t in the fleet when the incident happened. The victim was removed from the barge and placed onto the fire boat where firefighters began to rewarm him. He was brought by boat to the Water Street boat ramp, where Yellow EMS, the local emergency service, took over patient care.

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The entire incident took approximately 90 minutes to complete, the fire department said. The NAFD said that the Louisville Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard also assisted.