On board these New Jersey National Guard vehicles Sunday morning were five soldiers, a police officer and New Jersey Star-Ledger photographer Tony Kurdzuk. According to the Star-Ledger, they were on a mission to aid law enforcement when they were diverted to the town of Manville. This is where South Main Street and Kennedy Boulevard intersect. Chief Warrant Officer Patrick Daugherty told the paper as they tried to make their way down the flooded roadway the vehicles soon shut down.
"At the time they entered the water, they believed they were fine until everything turned off. At that time they panicked a little bit," he said.
The video above is shot shortly after the first video and shows the photographers calling help.
"The chain of command is taking the incident seriously," Daugherty said. "They know the soldiers went in with the best intentions. They were perhaps a bit too confident."
Seven people were inside the two Light Medium Tactical Vehicles, which are capable of driving through 46 inches of water, Daugherty said.
The Manville Fire Department assisted in the rescue.
Click the image to see photos of the incident from the photographer who was on board, Tony Kurdzuk.
The military publication Stripes Central has the story under the headline National Guardsmen heckled after nearly drowning in floodwaters. Here's an excerpt from the article by Steve Schogol:
An onlooker with a camera proceeds to heckle the guardsmen.
“Are you guys that stupid?”
“Why would you take a guy that can’t swim?”
“You guys are stupid.”
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Patrick Daugherty, a spokesman for the New Jersey National Guard, said it was an ambitious effort that took an unexpected turn.
"In many cases, soldiers, fireman, policeman, they overcome the impossible," he said. "Sometimes, they enter the darkest places that people would never enter. Those soldiers were there to search for and assist residents of New Jersey who needed help. … Unfortunately, things didn't work out right."