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Watch: Troopers remove their own clothing, gear to save man suffering from hypothermia

The man had traveled away from his disabled UTV and was clinging to life when the troopers located him by following footprints in the snow


Photo/Instagram via N.J. State Police

By Ashley Silver

SUSSEX COUNTY, N.J. — New Jersey State Police Sussex Station troopers saved the life of a missing person in the Stokes State Forest after his UTV became immovable due to fallen boulders and logs.

The New Jersey State Police shared details about the incident through their Instagram, recounting the great lengths they took to ensure the missing man was returned home safely.

According to the post, troopers initially responded to a report of a person that had not been seen in 24 hours. Troopers were told the man left his residence in a UTV and did not return, so they set up a search perimeter and discovered UTV tracks leading deep into the Stokes State Forest.

Troopers eventually located a disabled UTV, but the man was nowhere to be found.

The officers used nearby footprints in the snow as a tracking tool and discovered the man had become separated from his walking stick and right boot. As they dug a bit deeper, they found the man a short distance from the shoe, lying on his back and struggling to breathe. He was clinging to life, suffering from hypothermia.

Troopers took quick action to assist the man, removing their winter gear and ballistic vests to place on and under him to help raise his body temperature. When additional troopers arrived, they took turns laying on top of the man to transfer body heat while they administered sternum rubs.

Members of the Sandyston Fire Department then arrived with a stokes basket and the man was carried out of the woods to an emergency UTV. He was airlifted to an area hospital from there and the troopers reported that he is now recovering at home.