Tuesday January 1, 2013

ADAMS -- A New Hampshire man was taken to North Adams Regional Hospital early Tuesday morning after he was pulled out of the Hoosic River's flood control chute in Adams, authorities said.

Ricardo Alicea, 22, of Nashua, was heard yelling for help about 1 a.m. by a woman walking her dog near 4 Glenn St., according to Adams police.

First responders clad in wetsuits removed a chain link fence at the flood control chute then lowered their ladders into the river to pull Alicea from the cold water. Alicea, who was apparently intoxicated, was transported by Adams Ambulance to NARH, where he was treated for hypothermia, police said. A spokeswoman for NARH said the hospital had no information on his condition.

Alicea was wearing a short sleeve shirt, jeans and sneakers when rescued.

"He was lucky," said Adams Police dispatcher Tony Piscioneri, who is also a member of the town's Fire Department. "They went in and got him out. Fortunately, the water level wasn't that high."

The section of the flood chute where Alicea was found contained only about a foot of water, Piscioneri said, but it also has concrete walls that are 20 feet high. The woman who called police reported seeing Alicea standing near a concrete wall.

Due to his condition, first responders had difficulty speaking with Alicea at the scene, but they believe he was trying to retrieve his cellphone.

It was unclear on Tuesday exactly how Alicea got into the flood chute. Piscioneri said the chute does have areas that can be accessed by highway department personnel. No criminal activity is believed to have taken place, police said.

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:

TDobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com

On Twitter: @tonydobrow