An off-duty police officer, trained in search and rescue, helped save a 24-year-old hiker who was trapped in a whirlpool on Saturday.
The hiker underestimated the strength of the water as he tried to cross Angel Falls in California, witnesses said and became trapped in the cold spring water that was flowing 50 to 80 feet per second, reports stltoday.com.
Nearby, off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer Brent Donley, who is trained in search and rescue, was also hiking in the area near Bass Lake in Madera County. Using a strap from his backpack tied around a branch for the hiker to grab, he threw the branch to the man and talked him through the rescue.
Donley, with the help of a group of hikers, managed to pull the man to safety.
“This could have ended very badly if not for his help.”
– Madera County Sheriff’s Office
Angel Falls is one of the main attractions for hikers along the Willow Creek Trail, one of the most challenging trails, according to USDA Forest Service. The trail is nearly 3-miles long and has a moderate to steep climb and can be dangerous due to the slippery rocks along the path.