Off-duty officer saves California hiker caught in fast-moving water

Off-duty officer saves California hiker caught in fast-moving water”

A 24-year-old Fresno man was saved by an off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer on Saturday when swift currents above Bass Lake swept him into a whirlpool, the Madera County Sheriff's Office said.

Fortunately for him, an off-duty CHP officer named Brent Donley was hiking nearby and he rushed over to help.

It's a pretty incredible scene - and the best part is that Donley is actually trained for this type of thing. he's been described as a search and rescue CHP officer, so literally the ideal man for the job.

With a group of good Samaritans holding onto his belt strap, Donley perched himself on the edge of the bank and tossed the rope towards the man.

Three men and two women, who were also hiking in the area about 7 miles from the nearest town, Oakhurst, also sprang into action to help in the rescue.

"That's about like 50-80 basketballs full of water every second", the sheriff's office said.

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In a statement regarding the incident of Facebook, the sheriff's office advised the 24-year-old hiker to 'buy a lottery ticket because today is his lucky day!'

Donley gave first aid to the man until search and rescue teams arrived. "This Search and Rescue call could have ended very badly if not for his help", the post read.

"We sincerely thank Officer Donley for his quick-thinking and preparedness", the statement from the sheriff's office reads.

The episode occurred amid the coronavirus pandemic as Californians more than ever are looking for the ultimate open spaces to practice social distancing and take a break from stay-at-home orders.

"Please - if you are planning on visiting the mountains - do not attempt to cross swift water and make safety part of your plan", the department concluded.

Angel Falls is a main attraction for hikers along Willow Creek Trail, which has been deemed risky due to the slippery rocks along the path. The trail is almost 3-miles long and has a moderate to steep climb.

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