The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has released video of a dramatic rescue which occurred on the Yuba River last weekend.
Reno-native Kalani Tuiono was spending Saturday at the Emerald Pools with his girlfriend, before deciding to take a swim across the river.
The Emerald Pools are a popular tourist destination on the Yuba River.
The 25-year-old mistakenly believed he could handle the river currents. He ended up being swept downstream, being bashed by rocks before hoisting himself atop a massive boulder just ahead of a giant waterfall.
“For him to not get sucked in underneath there and drown is a miracle in itself,” a CHP spokesman told NBC News. “And for him to wind up on that lone boulder just before he goes under the big waterfall is just amazing.”
Tuiono was resting on the lone boulder in the middle of the Yuba River, just in front of a 50-foot waterfall in a narrow canyon when the CHP helicopter arrived upon the scene.
The video shows a chopper making several passes before lowering a basket with an officer aboard to the man below.
Eventually, the basket reaches Tuiono, who climbs aboard.
A second chopper films the man slowly being lifted to safety aboard the dangling basket.
The CHP posted the dramatic video on its Facebook page to which allowed Tuiono to say ‘thank-you’ to his rescuers.
“I am forever grateful,” Tuiono commented on the post. “I can’t express how much I appreciate the effort I seen out of everyone yesterday. Your team as well as the fire departments are literally my heroes.”
The CHP released the video in the hope it will prevent other pleasure seekers from making a similar mistake.
“We’re hoping people see the story and other stories we’ve done to stay out of the rivers. There’s been a lot of people that’ve drowned already,” the CHP spokesman told NBC News. “Hopefully we can stop it there.”
- With files from NBC News