In sunny Southern California, rapid water currents are not a danger we often think about.
But the danger that exists in our urban floodways showed itself in full force Friday. A homeless man was caught by currents and dragged down the Stanton Flood Control Channel for nearly two miles, the Orange County Register reports. The preceding storm and rain that day had caused water levels to rise and the current to speed up.
A few individuals called the police at 1:45pm after seeing the man struggling in the channel. After the man floated to the side of the channel, he was able to hang on to rocks, the OC Breeze reports. Then, an officer clung onto the man, keeping his head and shoulder from going back under the raging current, until another officer and several people helped pull the man out of the water. The speed of the current had stripped the man of his pants, which made the rescue even more difficult.
The rescued man was hospitalized and treated from hypothermia and water intake but recovered quickly and has been released, Patch reports.
The LA River has had similar incidents, including the failed rescue attempt of a 15-year-old boy swept up by the river. See the video below for shocking footage of rescue attempts and for a discussion of the misunderstanding of how dangerous flood channels can be.