Two Halifax boys who found themselves stuck in a muddy swamp this past December got a chance Wednesday to meet the state troopers who were critical in their rescue.
Drew Coveney and Jake Waterman said they quickly became scared and stressed after getting lost in a large wooded area in Halifax around nightfall.
Hundreds of acres of swamp and marsh made walking very difficult for the 12-year-old boys who, at one point, were barefoot standing on hats and shirts.
“We fell in and it was waist deep in some areas. When we fell in the water, our shoes got colder and colder so after awhile it was better to have them off then to keep on the shoes since they were waterlogged,” said Drew during a press conference inside a Plymouth Airport hangar
State Police troopers used a helicopter to conduct an air search to find the Halifax boys and they were able to do so in minutes. But Trooper Mark Costa, who was the tactical flight officer of the mission, said hearing that the boys were without shoes was a game changer.
“Everything went from ‘okay they’re safe, there they are’ to ‘there they are and now they’re going to be hypothermic in a short time,’” said Trooper Costa
The boys were rescued safely.
Though the helicopter quickly located the boys the entire mission took several hours and involved a ground search by Halifax police. Trooper Costa and Trooper John Pina, who was the pilot, said if they weren’t able to talk to the boys through cellphone communication they might’ve not been successful.
Trooper Mark Costa showing Drew Coveney a State Police helicopter
Jake Waterman inside a State Police helicopter
Pilot, Trooper John Pina (left) and Tactical Flight Officer, Trooper Mark Costa (right)