March 16, 2023 | 1:15 p.m.
Dramatic video shows the moment a man desperately clinging to a wall after being swept into the torrential waters of the Los Angeles River was rescued by a heroic rescuer suspended from a helicopter.
Los Angeles Fire Department air and ground crews responded to the rain-swollen river south of Washington Boulevard in the Boyle Heights neighborhood around 5 p.m. Wednesday after receiving a report of a person in distress.
Poignant aerial footage filmed by KTLA’s Sky5 captured the man desperately clinging to a “concrete wall” as he waited for an LAFD member to stop him and lower him with a cable from a helicopter.
Muddy waters are seen churning around the stranded man in the video after recent storms that drenched parts of California and caused rivers to rise.
The rescuer struggles for several minutes to reach the terrified victim as strong winds blow him off course.
Finally, the LAFD lifeguard is able to grab the man and attach a hoist to his waterlogged body.
After a few tense moments, during which both men ended up in chest-deep fast-moving water, the LAFD helicopter flew them to safety.
The anonymous man was transported to the LAC+USC Medical Center to receive treatment for hypothermia, but no other injuries were reported.
It was not immediately known how he ended up in the river or how long he spent in the freezing water waiting to be rescued.