New Jersey state trooper lowered by rope to rescue lost hiker, dog

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A lost hiker and his dog are safe after a New Jersey state trooper was lowered by rope down a cliff to reach the man who was holding on to a tree.

The rescue happened Monday night in the dark and rain after the hiker called 911 to say he was trapped on an incline along a trail in Fredon Township.

Troopers Russell Cahn and Sean Sullivan located the man and the dog.

“We got a call that there was a hiker that somehow ended up down a cliff,” says Sullivan.

The troopers were worried about hypothermia.

"We knew he was at the bottom of the cliff, so we started looking for any place that had a ridgeline or something that looked like a cliff, and then we started calling his name and calling his name and finally we heard something,” says Cahn.

The troopers said that they walked over a mile until the found the man, who was 40 feet down. They tried to pull the man up but were unsuccessful, so they had to wait for the fire department to arrive.

Body camera video shows Cahn and firefighters lowered Sullivan by rope to reach the man. The hiker's dog was hoisted to safety before the man was raised by the rope and was treated at the scene by EMS.

The rescue took nearly two hours. The troopers said that the situation brought them closer together.

"I've worked with him for a few months and it just builds that trust more, that him and the firemen were on the ropes and they had me,” Sullivan says.

Officials say that anyone who plans to go out hiking should always let someone know where they will be. They should also bring a cell phone and a flashlight in case they are still out after dark.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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