Man rescued after stowing away on frigid Ohio River barge

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File photo of barge loaded with coal sitting in the Ohio River (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — Southern Indiana authorities say a man who stowed away on an Ohio River barge was rescued after nearly freezing to death in frigid weather.

New Albany Fire Chief Matt Juliot tells The News and Tribune the coal barge’s crew called 911 early Tuesday after finding the man hiding inside the vessel’s hold.

The department says the man, who’s reportedly homeless, was rescued on the department’s fire boat with the assistance of the Louisville Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard and treated for “extreme cold exposure.”

The temperature was zero degrees (minus 17 Celsius) with subzero wind chills at the time of the rescue.

Juliot says cold-weather rescues are rare for New Albany’s fire department because it normally doesn’t get so cold in the Ohio River city.

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