OSWEGO, NY – Apparently the lure of the breakwall on a warm summer’s day is just too much to resist.
It’s a hat trick. For the third time in about a week, the Oswego Fire Department was dispatched and Marine One headed out to the Oswego breakwall for a report of several people in distress.
Shortly after 5 p.m. today (Aug. 12), a concerned citizen called 911 stating that eight or nine people were on the breakwall. Rescue crews were dispatched at 5:22 p.m.
Two were reportedly knocked into the water by large waves crashing over the breakwall, according to an Oswego Fire Department spokesperson.
“We responded with the rescue boat. But, they managed to get out before we arrived,” Lt. Paul Conzone told Oswego County Today. “There were no injuries.”
On Aug. 11, firefighters responded quickly and rescued two people off the breakwall, and a third person who had been struck by a wave and thrown into the water. OFD crews also responded on August 5 and pulled six people to safety during a similar incident.
“We respond to the breakwall and harbor quite often,” Conzone said. “I think we have taken nine people in over the last few days. It’s such an inviting spot and the first few hundred feet are easy to walk – almost like a sidewalk. The terrain changes dramatically the closer you get to the lighthouse. That’s where we run into problems. It becomes more like rock climbing and gets very dangerous with waves crashing over the wall.”
Following Tuesday’s incident, Fire Chief Jeff McCrobie said, “People need to use better judgement before venturing out onto the breakwall. Both incidents over the last week luckily resulted in no injuries, but on both occasions people were struck by waves and tossed from the wall.”
The personnel that staff the rescue boat are already on duty assigned to the west side engine, so there isn’t any extra cost to the taxpayers, except a little fuel, Conzone said.
“It’s all part of protecting the public, even when they make poor choices,” he added.