Niagara Gazette

December 3, 2013

Fisherman carried from gorge

By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — An Amherst fisherman was pulled from the Niagara River Gorge Tuesday afternoon after he broke his ankle.

State Park Police said they received a 911 call from the fisherman and his companion and responded along with Niagara Falls firefighters. The fisherman, Brandon Jenkins, 33, of Amherst, had gone down to the shoreline to fish with another man, Joseph Ciffa, 28, of the Falls.

"Jenkins went to go from down by the water to the top (of the gorge)," State Park Police Lt. Patrick Moriarty said. "It was very icy and he slipped, got his foot caught between rocks and broke his ankle."

Moriarty said the Onigara Trail, and the nearby Vanderbilt Steps, are not regularly maintained during the winter and that means folks who venture into the gorge need to be prepared.

"The ice and the snow can make the steps and the trails treacherous," Moriarty said. "You need to be wearing proper footwear and, of course, warm clothing."

The Park Police lieutenant said Jenkins was wearing sneakers when he slipped. 

Firefighters and Park Police officers carefully made their way down the Vanderbilt stairs to reach Jenkins. Once they found him, firefighters treated Jenkins' ankle and strapped him into a basket so he could be carried out of the gorge.

Jenkins was then taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for further treatment.

Moriarty said State Parks Operations personnel also responded to the call and put salt on the stairs and attempted to chip away the heaviest ice build-up.