NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (NewsNation Now) — The U.S. Coast Guard attempted a daring rescue near the edge of Niagara Falls on Wednesday after a car was spotted submerged in water.
A rescue swimmer was lowered from a hovering helicopter, climbed into the car and pulled out the body of its lone occupant, a woman in her 60s, officials from New York’s State Park Police said.
Both were then hoisted back up to the helicopter.
Video captured the dramatic rescue attempt. NewsNation has chosen not to show images or footage of the deceased woman.
“It was an incredible job by the Coast Guard,” Park Police Capt. Christopher Rola said at a news conference. “We have never had a vehicle in the water this close (to the edge).”
It was unclear how the car got into the Niagara River. Witnesses reported seeing it floating near a pedestrian bridge, where it was believed to have gone in. Roads in the area were slippery as a light snow fell.
Photos and videos taken by bystanders showed the car almost completely submerged, with only part of the roof and open trunk hatch visible through the whitewater in the early afternoon.
Police used a drone to determine it was occupied.
The New York Power Authority lowered water levels in the river to assist first responders, according to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Authorities said the woman lived in the area. Her name was not released pending notification of her relatives.
After the rescue, the vehicle remained about 50 yards from the brink of the American Falls, one of three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls. Onlookers watched as emergency crews prepared to try to pull the vehicle from the water.
Rola said the State Park department’s swift-water rescue teams had been unable to get to the car because of its location.
The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WIVB contributed to this report.