Drowning man rescued from Genesee River by UR employee

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. A University of Rochester groundskeeper is being hailed a hero after jumping into the Genesee River to save a stranger.

It all began Wednesday morning when Michael Chudyk was cleaning up plow damage and soil along the Genesee River when he noticed a man floating down the river.

“It was definitely cold,” Chudyk said. “It was about 40 degrees. But my adrenaline was moving and I wasn’t thinking about the water temp or anything. I was just focused on getting in and getting him out.”

Chudyk says he didn’t think twice before dropping his gear, taking off his shoes, and leaping into a cold river to rescue a man he’d never met.

“The current was strong,” Chudyk said. “I had to swim approximately 30 feet out to get him where you couldn’t touch the bottom and the water was moving very rapidly.”

Chudyk says it was a team effort.

“I was the only one who jumped into the water but I had three colleagues that assisted me with pulling him up and if it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I could have got him onto shore by myself,” Chudyk said.

According to Chudyk, the rescued man appeared to be in his mid-60s but based on the limited information given to him by Public Safety, it’s unclear exactly how or why the man entered the water.

 “They said he went down closer to Scottsville and drifted down close to a mile before we were able to get him,” Chudyk said. “So by the time he was down here, he was clearly exhausted and needed medical attention as soon as we were able to get him on shore.”

News10NBC reached out to Public Safety for more information about the incident and the current condition of the man but has not received a response. News10NBC will bring you more details as soon as we receive them.