NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – A Polish tourist was rescued from an icy spot near the brink of Niagara Falls after he slid down a hill as he tried to retrieve a dropped cell phone.
State Parks police used ropes and a harness to pull Waldek Kubicki, 29, back up the bank at Terrapin Point, behind the Top of the Falls restaurant. He was rescued around 2:45 p.m., and police say it was tricky because Kubicki kept going the wrong way and slipping.
"He didn't understand the principles of rappelling," said Parks Police Sgt. Clyde W. Doty. "He kept going the wrong way and slipping."
Police said Kubicki had climbed a snow bank to get a better view and ended up sliding down the bank due to the ice, stopping just short of going over. Kubicki estimated he slid about 200 feet, to within 50 feet of the falls.
"I didn't realize (how slick it was). I was just trying to pick up my phone and I slid down," said Kubicki, who was not harmed.
Kubicki was with a friend making a one-day trip to Niagara Falls from Lancaster, Pa., where he is on a six-month visit, studying English.
Five officers took part in the rescue on Terrapin Point, a protrusion on the U.S. side of the Horseshoe Falls.
Kubicki was released after a brief checkup inside an ambulance for possible exposure and injuries but was unhurt.