Couple rescued from the Hudson River in Corinth

CORINTH, NY (NEWS10) As the summer heats up, first responders are reminding people to exercise water safety. This warning came after several water rescue attempts occurred last week.

On Friday, Saratoga County Sheriffs held a press conference to address the latest incident on the Hudson River.

It was a chaotic day for the Murcia family. At approximately 5.42pm Wednesday, two of the five family members were rescued from the water.

Mom Patricia Murcia was fighting back tears during Friday’s press conference and called the sheriffs who rescued her and her hero husband.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We really appreciate what you did for us, Patricia said.

The Murcia family, from Long Island, traveled to Corinth for a relaxing day on the river, but the situation quickly turned to panic.

Patricia and her husband Enrique were in a rowboat while their three children were paddle boarding on the Hudson when they noticed one son was paddling and not moving.

The concerned parents rowed over to him and held him by the oar, but from there they say it all happened so fast.

No matter how fast we rowed, whatever we did, the current was just that strong. And we didn’t realize how strong it was, Patricia said.

Their son was able to jump off his paddle board and swim ashore, but the parents say their boat has started to fill with water. Patricia says she panicked and jumped off the boat.

Enrique was wearing a life jacket and she wasn’t. She quickly followed her, knowing she is not a strong swimmer.

The couple floated down the river and tried to hang on to a lifeline and buoys. One of their sons was circling them on a jet ski, keeping an eye on them.

It was then that off-duty Warren County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Pasquale Rocky Girard, who was on his way to dinner with his wife, noticed the boy near the restricted area.

He approached the boy from the Irving Densmore Bridge to warn him away from the lifeline and that’s when he spotted the pair in danger and leapt into action.

Saratoga County Deputy Nikk Milligan was the responding officer at the scene and quickly removed his belt and anything else that might weigh him down, to join Girard in the water rescue.

Warren County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Pasquale Rocky Girard, left, and Saratoga County Deputy Nikk Milligan, right, address the media at a news conference Friday, June 30, 2023 at the same location water rescue.

Patricia says she got tired and couldn’t take it anymore. Her eldest son, Christian, said he could tell his younger siblings were frightened as their parents floated down the river, over the lifeline, and approached a dam.

I was nervous but I felt like, in that moment, I couldn’t be nervous, so I just tried to keep calm and handle the situation, Christian said.

Milligan says it’s important to always wear a life jacket and keep a close watch on your children while they’re in the water.

He didn’t hesitate to leap into action, despite how dangerous the situation was.

It’s one of those things where you get so much adrenaline when it’s all happening that you don’t even think about it, Milligan said.

First responders have stressed the importance of researching the body of water you plan to visit and remaining diligent while you’re out there, especially on rivers after heavy rains when currents are stronger than usual.

Patricia said the water looked calm from shore, but once the incident was over and they reviewed the videos they took while out on the river, they could see how fast the current was moving.

The middle of a river tends to flow fastest unless it is a meandering river, in which case the inside bend is where the water flows fastest.

Milligan says the situation could have ended tragically, but it didn’t as at least one person was wearing a life jacket.

I’m so glad the department recognized them because what they’ve done is allow my husband and I to spend more time with our children who mean the world to us, Patricia said.

He plans to complete swimming lessons this summer and will never go out without a life jacket again.

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