Caught on Camera: Hiker Rescued by Off-Duty Officer in Strong Whirlpool Near Yosemite

While Angel Falls may be a little south of Northern California (see our definition of “NorCal”), this video of a water rescue near Angel Falls is certainly of interest to our audience.

An off-duty CHP officer was hiking near Angel Falls in Madera County when he was alerted to a hiker stuck in a strong whirlpool. He used everything he could find to safely rescue the man and most likely save his life. Here is the video of the incident, captured by a nearby witness:

Now that’s some quick thinking and action on the part of the rescuer. You can see, even after the hiker had grabbed a hold of the rescue contraption, it was still so difficult to pull the man to shore. Here’s an explanation of the incident from Fresno CHP:

While hiking at Angel Falls near Bass Lake in Madera County, with his family, off-duty CHP Officer Brent Donley (wearing the ball-cap) was alerted to a victim who was struggling to keep above water, stuck in the cold and fast moving water. Thinking quick, he utilized his Adidas backpack’s para cord style strap, cut it out and tied it together with a small branch to allow the victim something to grab. With the assistance of other hikers, Officer Donley pulled the man to safety and assisted him for until help from the Madera County Sheriff’s Office arrived. Officer Donley’s quick thinking and training in search and rescue, undoubtedly helped to save the man’s life.

Remember that this time of year has our tributaries moving extra fast, so be careful entering any body of water!

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


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