A man who slipped in rushing 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 by rescue crews Wednesday.
The man, who is in his late 50s and from out of town, declined a trip to a hospital, according to Huntington Beach marine safety Lt. Claude Panis.
The man wandered off a trail in a park near Ashley Drive and Ellis Avenue on Wednesday morning and slipped in ankle-deep water that swept him toward a drain pipe, Panis said.
The man told rescue crews that he was clinging to a grate for three to four hours shouting for help before bystanders heard him and called first-responders, according to Panis.
Firefighters lowered a marine safety officer on a raft, pulled the man aboard and then yanked the vessel to safety, Panis added.
“The rescue went quick,” he said. “It was 20 to 25 minutes start to finish.”
Panis advised residents to beware of rushing water, no matter how shallow.
“A little bit of water can be very dangerous when moving, and he learned the hard way,” Panis said.