A 24-year-old man was rescued Saturday in the Angel Falls area in Yosemite National Park after he was swept into a whirlpool while on a hiking excursion, reports said.
The man was not identified by the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, but it is believed that he lost his footing along Willow Creek around noon after “misjudging the swiftness of the water,” ABC News reported. The area is known to be particularly slippery.
“The volume of the water that moves every second is enormous,” Brent Donley, an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer who spotted the man, said. “People don’t realize.”
Authorities released dramatic footage of the rescue, which included Donley, a 20-year veteran of the department, and other good Samaritans essentially forming a chain. They reportedly tied a rope to a tree branch and the man was eventually able to grab hold.
Sarah Jackson, a public information officer for the sheriff’s department, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Donley has special training in search and rescue. She told the paper that the hiker should “buy a lottery ticket because yesterday was his lucky day.”