Watch: Collier County Sheriff's Office helicopter crew rescues injured man from Everglades

Posted at 9:39 AM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 09:39:02-05

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- The Aviation Unit of the Collier County Sheriff's Office was able to successfully rescue an injured man from a heavily wooded section of the Everglades after he fell off an ATV.

It happened Monday night about 8 miles off Alligator Alley near mile marker 63.

The Greater Naples Fire Department reported a man in his 60's was unconscious after falling off the ATV and needed assistance.

A Collier County Sheriff's Office helicopter responded, and were able to locate the victim's exact location based on a 911 caller's cell phone location. The helicopter crew were aided by using night vision goggles.

"It helps us, especially out in the Everglades," said CCSO pilot Dennis Di Rienzo. "There's no light out there."

Di Rienzo said the trees were too dense for a landing, so he hovered the helicopter at 120 feet off the ground. Two rescue specialists were lowered to the ground and determined that the victim, who was by then conscious but injured, had to be hoisted out.

He was safely lifted to the helicopter and taken to an EMS crew waiting off the interstate.