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Hunter, Cops, Dog Rescued From Swamp

12/16/03

Hunter, Cops, Dog Rescued From Swamp

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. - Mike Hill was out on a hunting trip with a friend Monday when he got stuck in the muck tracking a deer. His would-be rescuers had similar luck. One after another ... after another ... after another ...

Hill, who waded into waist-deep water in a marshy area, grew cold and realized he was lost. He pulled out his cell phone and help was soon on the way. More than two dozen rescue workers from Bridgewater and surrounding towns arrived to search.

But the rescuers couldn't reach Hill. Three firefighters set out on an airboat, but the boat got stuck. The firefighters themselves got mired in the marsh as they tried slogging on foot toward Hill, said Bridgewater Fire Chief Roderick Walsh.

Another firefighter and the police officer with a rescue dog named Gorby set out on an all terrain vehicle from another direction. They, too, got stuck in the swamp, along with the dog. Even a hovercraft brought in by a neighboring town got bogged down, Walsh said.

"We had a lot of trouble locating him because he couldn't orient with anything. It was difficult for us to get in there," Walsh said.

Ultimately, it was a U.S. Coast Guard (news - web sites) helicopter that managed to pluck Hill, three firefighters, the police officer and Gorby from the marsh - hauling them up, dripping, through the trees to safety in a wire basket.

"It was a pretty big mess," said Coast Guard Lt. Chris Zorman.

Walsh said that everyone - including Gorby - was fine.

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