A state patrol officer on leave rescued a hiker who was drowning with a rope and stick this weekend after being trapped in a hot tub in the foothills of Sierra Nevada mountains in California.
A video of the incident, released by the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, showed the 24-year-old Fresno struggling to catch the line in fast-moving water before he was finally brought to safety.
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In a Facebook article, the sheriff’s office said the water, submerged in snow runoff, was flowing at 50 to 80 cubic feet per second.
“It’s about like 50 to 80 basketballs filled with water every second,” said the office.
The incident occurred at Angel Falls in the Sierra National Forest, between Fresno and Yosemite National Park, at noon on Saturday, authorities said.
The hiker, who was walking along a stream, misjudged the speed at which the water was moving when he decided to cross, said the sheriff’s office. He was taken to a hot tub and detained before a California Highway Patrol officer saved him.
Officer Brent Donley was hiking in the area and had been trained in search and rescue techniques, said the sheriff’s office.
“This search and rescue call could have ended very badly without his help,” said the sheriff’s office. “Please – if you plan to visit the mountains – don’t try to cross fast waters and make safety part of your plan. “