Video shows moment off-duty Warren County sergeant rescues two people in Corinth

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A daring rescue by two members of law enforcement saved a couple from drowning Wednesday on the Hudson River near Corinth.

NewsChannel 13 obtained exclusive video of the rescue showing the moments an off-duty sergeant from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office helps the couple to shore against a strong current.

The video was taken near East River Drive by Monica Girard, the wife of Sgt. Pasquale “Rocky” Girard, who made the rescue. The pair went from a quiet drive to dinner to a lifesaving rescue in seconds.

“We noticed a jet skier doing circles on the downstream of a bridge,” Girard said.

He instantly knew something was wrong. He stopped his truck next to the river, and then saw the jet skier was pointing at a man and a woman whose paddle boat had tipped near the safety rope in place before the nearby hydroelectric dam.

“I got out, went down to the river and noticed they were holding each onto each other,” Girard explained.

It was fortuitous timing for the 33-year veteran of the force – who happens to lead his department’s scuba rescue team. Patrolling nearby, a young sheriff’s deputy with Saratoga County, Nikk Milligan, was also quick to get to the scene and jump into the water.

“I believe that officers on-duty or off-duty are always looking at the community and the surroundings, and they’re available to help out whenever they can,” Sgt. Girard said. “And I think it’s what we do. Fire, EMS, we’re all trained that way and I think everyone is pretty much wired to do that, lend a hand when they can.”

Luckily, the man in the water was wearing a life jacket. The two were able to get him and the woman safely to shore in just a few minutes, where they were evaluated by EMS and determined to be unharmed.

“They were very grateful, they were very appreciative, they were both very thankful. She gave me a great big hug. We hit the shore, and they were just relieved, all of us were,” Girard said.

He said it’s a scary reminder of how differently this story could have ended on a notorious stretch of the Hudson.

“Rivers are challenging. They change quickly. Some are controlled by dams, so the water flow, current can change quickly. The depth can change quickly. Where you are in the river, if it’s more shallow, it can change. Just always wear a life jacket, I mean, that was critical, I think that’s what saved them is the husband had a life jacket on,” he said.

The rescue was also thanks to teamwork across two local agencies.

“We’re adjoining counties, we interact a lot and we train a lot together, so this is something that kind of came together,” he said.

NewsChannel 13 also reached out to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office to speak to the deputy Thursday. The agency is planning a press conference Friday morning in Corinth to bring together both rescuers and the couple. NewsChannel 13 will have a crew there.

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