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Emergency workers pull fisherman from Normanskill

Emergency workers on Wednesday, March 10, plunged into the Normanskill to retrieve a fly fisherman who had become stranded in the middle of the river.

Members of the Albany Fire Department, assisted by Albany County, City of Albany and Town of Bethlehem emergency personnel, waded out in wetsuits to help David Kelley, of Albany, safely to shore. He was transported by Delmar EMS to Albany Medical Center.

Lt. Thomas Heffernan of the Bethlehem Police Department said Kelley had been trying out a new fly fishing reel when the fast moving current essentially trapped him.

He basically became trapped and he wasn't able to move, Heffernan said.

Kelley was able to signal a woman at a small park near the bank of the river, who called 911 at about 2:15 p.m. Emergency vehicles quickly arrived on the scene and rescuers attempted to throw ropes to Kelley, but in the end had to wade out to him. He was eventually pulled out onto the Bethlehem side of the river.

Just under an hour elapsed from the emergency call to the all clear.

"It's a quick response and a quick rescue, which obviously benefits him," Heffernan said.

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