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‘We’ll Catch You Honey’: Teenage Girl Rescued After 25-Foot Fall Off Amusement Park Ride

Park guests and employees at Six Flags Great Escape[1] park in upstate New York became unlikely heroes when they stepped in to rescue a teenage girl dangling from a gondola ride, working together to catch her as she fell 25 feet into their arms.

The 14-year-old girl, who has not been publicly identified, did not sustain any serious injuries in the Saturday incident, according to local authorities[2]. She was riding the “Sky Ride” at Six Flags Great Escape in Queensbury, New York when she slipped out of the gondola chair.

Video captured at the scene shows her dangling from the two-person gondola as park guests gather below her. The girl’s neck initially appeared to be stuck in the gondola, but she was able to untangle herself before dropping 25 feet.

Loren Lent, a mail handler from Glenville, New York who was in the park during the incident and captured the scene on video, said he was waiting for his children to finish at the Sky Ride when he heard screaming and saw a rider dangling.


'We'll Catch You Honey': Teenage Girl Rescued After 25-Foot Fall Off Amusement Park Ride

“I just pulled my phone out and turned it into video because I was amazed it’s not something you’ve ever seen or would want to see,” he told TIME.

He videotaped for about 20 seconds, he said, and he and half a dozen men began strategizing how to catch the girl when the ride was completely stopped. One man climbed up a tree to push the branches out of the way.

(For licensing or usage, contact [email protected])Girl falling from ride at 6 Flags Great Escape and they have NO means to rescue them. Thanks to the guys who banded together to catch her and the guy who climbed the tree to move the branches out of the way.

Posted by Loren Lent[3] on Saturday, June 24, 2017

As she began to drop, someone in the crowd that had gathered below her can be heard yelling, “We’ll catch you honey!”

“I think it was an impulsive coordination,” Lent said. “It was a bunch of strangers coming together to help out a person in an emergency situation.”

Lent was frustrated though; he said not one park employee was on the scene initially. When they did arrive, he began yelling at them, because he thought they weren’t moving quickly enough. A security guard asked him to remove himself from the scene, so he ultimately shot video of the girl’s rescue.

The footage shows her hitting a tree as she fell, but cheers erupt as the girl is caught.

(For licensing or usage, contact [email protected])Girl falling from ride at 6 Flags Great Escape and they have NO means to rescue them. Thanks to the guys who banded together to catch her and the guy who climbed the tree to move the branches out of the way.

Posted by Loren Lent[4] on Saturday, June 24, 2017

Six Flags said in a statement that the girl was caught by “guests and security personnel.”

Emergency medical services were sent to the scene, and she was transported to a local hospital, before being transported by helicopter to a hospital in Albany[5]. She remains there, authorities said, in stable condition and with no serious injuries.

Authorities said a 47-year-old man was also hospitalized when he hurt his back trying to catch the girl, but has since been released.

The Sky Ride, listed under “Family Rides” on the park’s website,[6] is described as “a roundtrip ski-lift style gondola ride.”

Lent, who says he is a season pass holder, says this incident won’t infringe on his visits to the park, but he won’t be sending his family on the Sky Ride anytime soon.

The Warren County Sheriff’s office said they inspected the ride with park personnel and found that everything was working correctly.

Six Flags said that the New York State Department of Labor cleared the ride to operate, but it is remaining closed while the park conducts an internal review.

“We are in the process of gathering more information,” Six Flags Queensbury said in a statement. “The safety and security of our guests is our top priority and our thoughts and prayers are with our guest and her family.”


  1. ^ Six Flags Great Escape (
  2. ^ according to local authorities (
  3. ^ Loren Lent (
  4. ^ Loren Lent (
  5. ^ Albany (
  6. ^ park’s website, (

Face of Defense: Veterinarian Reflects on Unconventional Career Journey

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2017 Just out of high school and unsure of what to do with his life, a young Ohio man went to a bus depot, handed a ticket agent almost all of the money in his pocket, and said with a smile, “I’ll go wherever this takes me.” So begins James “Nick” Koterski’s unconventional journey to becoming an Army colonel.

Landing in New Orleans, he spent the rest of his cash on a good meal. Shucking oysters nights and on weekends to earn money, he worked toward an undergraduate degree from the University of New Orleans, and eventually completed his doctorate of veterinarian medicine in 1989 from Louisiana State University.

Koterski worked in a regular clinical practice for a few years. “It wasn’t for me,” he said, so he found a food inspector position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A couple of years later, a colleague in the Army Reserve suggested that his adventurous nature would make him a good fit for the Army.

His first assignment sent him to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, where he primarily conducted food inspections for the commissary and exchange. He said what made the assignment really satisfying, though, was providing for the medical needs of all the working dogs for the Port Authority of New York and the Coast Guard.

When he was next stationed at Camp Hialeah, situated at the southern tip of South Korea, he continued his food inspection role for all Defense Department installations and vendors.

Continuing Education

Koterski returned to New Jersey after his stint in Korea and earned a doctorate in microbiology from Rutgers University. Those credentials led him to join an exclusive group of medical research scientists, who account for about six percent of the 400 Army veterinarians.

Koterski joined DoD’s lead lab for medical biological defense research, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases[1] at Fort Detrick, Maryland. The institute’s core mission is to protect service members from biological threats, and so it investigates disease outbreaks and threats to public health, especially those that can be used as weapons.

One of his first expeditions with the institute involved working with local public health researchers at various Native American reservations in the “four corners” area — Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. He worked on a new test for plague, which naturally occurs in prairie dogs and other rodents in the area.

He had another memorable assignment with Inuit natives in Canada’s Northwest Territory on Great Slave Lake, sampling tissues of wildlife to find bacterium similar to anthrax, but not as highly lethal.

Koterski returned to Fort Detrick in 2005, this time with the U.S. Army Medical Materiel and Development Activity[2], to develop new drugs for biological defense threats not common enough for drug companies to invest in yet.

Monkey Pox

Koterski said one of his most challenging assignments, however, was the year he spent in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he helped collect blood samples from patients and charted the natural course of a rare disease called monkey pox, similar to smallpox.

In 2012, Koterski deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, as part of a forward assist science and technology team investigating products to enhance combat safety and medical efficiency. “It was interesting and rewarding,” he recalled.

He gathered direct input on a noise-cancelling stethoscope intended for use on medevac helicopters. “We also spent a lot of time talking to infantrymen finding out what did and didn’t work in pursuit of new items like ballistic and blast-resistant undergarments,” he said.

Since May 2015, Koterski has been the medical countermeasures director in DoD’s office of the assistant secretary for health affairs. He works closely with the departments of State, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, ensuring the national stockpile of countermeasure vaccines and drug treatments is maintained.

Koterski, who is retiring in the fall after 22 years of service, said no single role or assignment stands out as his favorite. “You know, it really isn’t about what I did or where,” he said, “it’s about appreciating each and every person I’ve had the great fortune to spend time with on the journey.”


  1. ^ U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (
  2. ^ U.S. Army Medical Materiel and Development Activity (

Will storm barriers arrive in time for the next Hurricane Sandy?

The warming Atlantic Ocean has raised the risk of another Hurricane Sandy. And still, trillions of dollars of real estate and infrastructure near the shores of New York City and northern New Jersey remain vulnerable to devastation. A storm-surge barrier similar to those in Louisiana and parts of Europe might protect the area, but politicians have questioned its $30 billion cost, effectiveness and environmental impact. A group of scientists, planners and property owners[1] is urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to accelerate its study of the project. It may take another hurricane to speed up the process.

The danger is increasing as the sea level rises, said Malcolm Bowman, an oceanographer at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, who is among the group. It won t take a monster storm like Sandy to devastate the region.

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Bowman warned of a catastrophic storm as far back as 2005, in a New York Times Op-Ed article. Seven years later, Sandy struck the region, flooding airports and tunnels and ravaging shore communities[2] from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Bridgeport, Connecticut. It caused $68.9 billion in damage, making it the second-costliest storm in U.S. history after Katrina, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Water wars

Bowman s group is pushing for an evaluation of a 5-mile retractable storm-surge barrier at the mouth of New York Harbor from the Rockaways to New Jersey s Sandy Hook. That, and another smaller structure at the western edge of Long Island Sound, could protect about 800 miles of shoreline from Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, to the Bronx, Bowman says. As Bowman describes it, before a major storm, barriers would rise from the seabed or close in a gate-like structure to deflect the force of a wind-blown surge, as occurred with Sandy.

You have to allow for marine traffic and the daily flow of the tides to flush out the harbor, Bowman said, But when a storm is forecast with enough wind at high tide to create a surge, you close the gates or raise it from the seabed so water that wants to flow into the harbor can t.

Studying studies

Weeks after Sandy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said his administration planned to talk with city and federal officials about the possibility of installing storm-surge barriers. Corps engineers, in discussions with New York and New Jersey since last August, are still studying what protection strategies merit further study.

At this point, it is premature to say whether broad-scale solutions such as that advocated by this group, or other more regional or localized potential solutions will fare best, said Corps spokesman Hector Mosley.

Piecemeal jobs

In the meantime, the state has moved ahead with a $616 million plan for Staten Island that includes a boardwalk promenade that would double as a storm-surge bulwark. The Corps has that project scheduled for completion in 2022, paid mostly by the federal government. Billions more in federal, state and city funds are being spent along shore areas, enhancing dunes and berms on beaches, cultivating wetlands, building walls and awarding subsidies for waterproofing homes and office buildings. City officials also envision a mostly-U.S. funded $816 million horseshoe-shaped elevated park wrapped along the southern half of Manhattan[3], dubbed The Big U, to keep out the Hudson and East Rivers. Such localized approaches may work as well or better than a mega-project, said Jainey Bavishi, Mayor Bill de Blasio s director of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency. Her concerns about a storm barrier include cost and construction time; possible environmental impact; and whether it would leave densely populated areas of Long Island and New Jersey vulnerable, and perhaps even more exposed to flooding from displaced water.

A harbor barrier is not the silver bullet, Bavishi said.

Sea life

Many of these issues have been solved with barriers that protect low-lying populations around the world, said Robert Yaro, former president of New York s Regional Plan Association. Its retractable feature would allow for marine traffic and tidal flow, minimizing impact to sea life and water quality, he said. The technology holds the promise of protecting the region for catastrophic floods for the next 150 years, Yaro said.

The Dutch have used this engineering for decades and barriers currently protect New Orleans, Stamford, Providence, London and St. Petersburg, Russia, Yaro said. We in New York are far behind and among the cities on Earth we have the most to lose. Yaro and Bowman were among several advocates promoting the idea last month at an all-day conference in lower Manhattan attended by 250 municipal bond investors, real estate developers, business owners, insurance companies, and planners.

Lessons learned

They heard Andrew Kopplin, former director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, describe how in New Orleans after Katrina, a bipartisan coalition of elected officials and business leaders persuaded Congress to approve a $14.5 billion system of levees and a storm-surge barrier. The barrier, a 1.8-mile array of gates, protected the city from Hurricane Isaac s landfall in 2012, said Kopplin, now president and chief executive officer of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, a non-profit charitable civic group.

It was simply a matter of political will, he said. Officials in the Cuomo and de Blasio administrations say they await the Corps findings.

We clearly want to see the New York Harbor barrier studied, said James Tierney, Cuomo s deputy environmental commissioner for water resources. The process requires a full-blown feasibility study. The Army Corps process is what we have to live with.

Next storm

Marco Pasanella, 54, who lives above his gourmet wine shop on lower Manhattan s South Street that got flooded when Sandy hit, says the pace and scope of government response has been disappointing. He s says he s seen no measures that would protect his neighborhood if another storm hit. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted as many as 17 tropical storms, about five more than average, may hit the Atlantic coast this year.

The decisions have Balkanized the neighborhoods with a piecemeal approach, just a series of uneven, irregular blockades that will not stop the water from finding its way ashore, Pasanella said. Across Manhattan at Chelsea Piers, a recreational facility situated over the Hudson, Michael Braito, the property s chief engineer, said neighborhood protections won t be enough to stop storm-surge water coursing through his building.

These piecemeal fixes buy little more than peace of mind, Braito said. It s like a boat with 100 holes and we ve patched half of them and we re going to sink. They need to think bigger.


  1. ^ property owners (
  2. ^ ravaging shore communities (
  3. ^ southern half of Manhattan (
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