A man who slipped in ankle-deep water and drifted toward a Huntington Beach drain pipe, where he held on for hours until bystanders heard him and called 911, was pulled to safety Wednesday by rescue crews.
The man, who was from out of town and is in his late 50s, declined a trip to a hospital, which paramedics recommended, according to Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Claude Panis.
The man wandered off a trail in a park near Ashley Drive and Ellis Avenue Wednesday morning and slipped in rushing, ankle-deep water that swept him toward a drain pipe, Panis said. The man told rescue crews he was clinging to a grate for about three to four hours shouting for help before bystanders heard him and called first-responders, Panis said.
Firefighters lowered a Marine Safety officer on a raft to the man, pulled him aboard and then yanked the vessel to safety, Panis said.
“The rescue went quick,” Panis said. “It was 20 to 25 minutes start to finish.”
It’s possible the man had wandered into a restricted area, but Panis said he wasn’t sure.
Panis advised residents to beware rushing water, no mater how shallow.
“A little bit of water can be very dangerous when moving and he learned the hard way,” Panis said.
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