Spartas deputy mayor became lost in the woods while hunting Tuesday, and was pulled half-frozen from a swamp after being stuck in frigid, chest-deep water for more than three hours.
Seven of his rescuers also became stuck in the swamp and had to be rescued. The resulting emergency response involved more than 50 rescuers, including police, four fire departments and 13 ambulances from eight rescue squads.
Deputy Mayor Scott Seelagy was in stable condition Tuesday night at Morristown Memorial Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said. A family member said he was being treated for hypothermia.
Five rescue workers from the Franklin Fire Department, one from the Ogdensburg Fire Department and one from the Wallkill Valley First Aid Squad were transported to local hospitals and treated for exposure and potential hypothermia, said Franklin OEM Coordinator Phillip Crabb.
Seelagy and McHose began the morning out by Silver Lake, in Hardyston, but after becoming separated, Seelagy ended up in the swamp near High Point Circle, McHose said. Crabb said Seelagys emergency call was made to the Hardyston Police Department around 5:30 p.m.
Seelagy was located at 6:15 p.m, but wasnt pulled out of the water until 8:30 p.m., said his mother-in-law, Carol Derise. He was immediately covered with blankets and taken to Morristown Memorial Hospital to be treated for hypothermia. Derise, who was watching Seelagys two young children, said it was likely her son-in-law would be released today.
I am just beside myself, Derise said.