Image: New York State Parks Police officers wait to be rescued
Larry Kensinger  /  AP
Two New York State Parks Police officers wait to be rescued on the  Niagara River on Saturday.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 6/19/2011 9:37:11 AM ET 2011-06-19T13:37:11

Two police officers were rescued Saturday after becoming stranded in foggy weather about 300 yards from the edge of Niagara Falls.

The New York State Parks Police officers had been sent to assist another vessel on the Niagara River when they became "unsure in the fog and darkness exactly where their location was in relation to the crest of the Horseshoe Falls" and threw an anchor overboard, according to a statement from Canada's Niagara Parks Police Service.

WKBW reported that the duo had been dispatched to help four teens whose private boat lost power near Goat Island at around 2 a.m. ET on Saturday.

The ordeal ended when the fog cleared and the officers were hoisted to safety by a Canadian helicopter at around 8 a.m.

"They could hear the falls, they could see the falls, they could smell the falls," helicopter pilot Ruedi Hafen told the Toronto Star. "It was a desperate situation for them."

According to The Star, the officers were stuck in the vessel for about four-and-a-half hours before they were rescued.

"They were snow white, like a bed sheet," the newspaper quoted Hafen as saying. "They were very shook up and they couldn't stop thanking us. If the anchor would have let go they would have had no chance. They would have gone over.

"Such a little boat, such a big anchor. That saved their lives."

The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

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