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Man rescued from swamp

Rose, N.Y. - Lost in a cold, dark swamp, an 82-year-old man and his grandson had quite the scare in Wayne County.

John Wood took a drive up the street to check out some deer tracks, when his truck got stuck in the mud.

Not too far from home, Wood decided to walk back but in the dark, he quickly got turned around and ended up deep in Huckleberry Swamp.

"The water was pretty black looking, it must be mucky back in there," Wood said." Every once in a while you'd hit a spot and it'd feel like the same depth, then you'd take one more and it'd go up to your waist."

Exhausted, Wood used his cell phone to call his adult grandson. "It seemed like he almost flew from the house out to where I was. He came right directly to me."

Finding a way out of the swamp was the real challenge. In the pitch black, Wood and his grandson walked through the swamp and slid around sink holes. Together, the two men wandered deeper into the 72-acre swamp. Wood said, He walked with me for quite a ways and we fell down in the murky old mud down there a couple times.

Injured and wet, Wood was running out of time. The temperatures had dropped, along with his blood sugar. As a diabetic, the 82-year-old man needed help fast.

Once again, Wood pulled out his cell phone, this time to call 911.

"It was completely dark out and they really couldn't tell what direction they were going in," said Brice Shipley, a medic with the Rose Fire Department.

A team of firefighters and state troopers was called out to suit up and search the swamp. "It's very easy to become stuck," Shipley said. "At a couple points we had to help each other to pull each other out of the muck."

Emergency responders stayed on the phone with Wood as they waded through waist-high waters and used flashlights to lead the men out of the swamp. After more than two hours, rescuers finally found Wood and his grandson. Emergency responders said another couple of hours and Wood may not have made it.

Wood held onto the shoulders of one of the responders and the team helped carry him out of the treacherous terrain. Wood took his medicine and ate some food to boost his blood sugar.

Doctors said he pulled a muscle in his leg and needs to stay off his feet for about six weeks.

 
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