Firefighters mounted a high-angle rescue in response to a 5:45 p.m. call Sunday evening reporting a person falling over the edge of West Rock. When rescuers located the male victim, he had already died.
According to New Haven Fire Department Operations Chief Matthew Marcarelli, two people reported the incident after witnessing the man fall over the side of West Rock. Because of lowlight conditions at dusk, the New Haven Fire Department attempted to recruit Trooper 1 — the state police helicopter with thermal imaging capabilities — but it was not available for the rescue, Marcarelli said.
When they could not locate the man from the base of West Rock, firefighters sent an officer over the side of the rock face using ropes, Marcarelli said. He added that once the firefighter was rigged up, it took approximately 20 minutes for him to locate the victim. At around 7:20 p.m., rescuers determined that the victim was deceased.
Commanding officers decided last night that, due to hazardous conditions and low visibility, they could not put personnel at risk by launching a recovery mission.
As of last night, the department planned to mount an effort to recover the victim’s body today.
Marcarelli said that the circumstances that led to the victim’s fall are still unknown. The environmental conservation police and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection are in charge of that investigation, he said.