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Search & Rescue

Helicopter rescue of 2 people stranded in rushing water of the Santa Ana River

April 8, 2020

COLTON, Calif – On Monday, April 6, at approximately 9:30 p.m., Colton Fire received a 911 call from a person stating his friends needed medical attention and were stranded due to rushing water in the Santa Ana River near Riverside Avenue.

Colton Fire requested San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Helicopter 40King4 for assistance in locating the victims. 40King4 arrived in the area and, with the use of night vision goggles, began a search. The victims Alfonso Suarez (of Fresno) and Jerry Moore (of Colton) were observed a flashing a light in distress at the helicopter as they were standing on a small piece of dry land surrounded by rushing water.

The helicopter hovered above the victim and lowered a San Bernardino County Fire Paramedic to contact him. Once on the ground, the medic relayed to the crew that two victims were needing to be hoisted to safety. The medic placed the victim having a medical emergency into a rescue harness, and he was then hoisted to the helicopter. The crew then landed at a nearby parking lot and transferred the victim to an awaiting ambulance. The crew returned and hoisted the second victim, followed by the medic, and returned to the parking lot where another ambulance was waiting.

One victim was transported by ambulance to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The second victim was uninjured and did not require medical assistance.

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