Fireman takes frigid dive to rescue woman

Published: December 14, 2005 | 3001st good news item since 2003

A city firefighter braved the frigid waters off Staten Island to save a woman floating facedown near the North Shore yesterday afternoon, officials said.

Thomas Feaser, 48, jumped 6 feet off an embankment to save the unidentified victim, not even waiting for a safety rope before taking the plunge.

“I was happy to see she was alive because when I rolled her over in the water, she was very pale, gray and not breathing,” said Feaser, who survived the collapse of Tower 2 of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

The unidentified 55-year-old victim, whose body temperature dipped to 92 degrees, was unconscious but breathing on her own at St. Vincent’s Hospital Staten Island last night.

It is unclear how she ended up in the water off Richmond Terrace near Lafayette Ave., fire officials said.

Feaser, Firefighter Joe Pigott, 39, and 10 other members of Engine 155, Ladder 78 donned orange wet suits as they pulled out the woman, who was discovered floating underneath a pier.

“You really don’t think of the cold – you’ve got a person in jeopardy there. It’s like going into a fire. My adrenaline was running pretty high,” said Feaser, who, along with Pigott, was treated for exposure.

Published in Rescues
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