1. #1
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    Sep 2002

    Default LA River Rescue (story/picture)

    Wow- What a tough rescue. Good job LA City!

    LOS ANGELES - Sliding into the rain-swollen Los Angeles River and being washed downstream was "kind of scary," a 14-year-old boy acknowledged after his televised rescue by firefighters.

    Michael Garcia said he and a 15-year-old friend named Jonathan were "hanging out" by the side of the river after a storm poured heavy rain on the region, when they slipped on gravel and slid 30 feet down the wall of the concrete-lined river channel.

    "The water was only up to our waist. We tried to walk back against the current but it was too strong," he said.

    His friend managed to climb a pole and reach Michael's cell phone, which was in a sweater he had left on a bush. The boy called 911.

    Michael was washed about 35 feet downstream Friday before he managed to wedge himself into a gap in the wall and hang on, with water up to his chest.

    "It was getting colder and colder and the water was getting higher and higher," Michael said Saturday by telephone from his home.

    Television news helicopter crews caught his dramatic rescue from the rushing brown water. A firefighter cradled him as a rope pulled them about 30 feet up the wall of the concrete channel east of downtown.

    Michael had cuts on his fingers but otherwise was in good shape as he relaxed at home Saturday.

    "I'm doing all right," he said.

    His mother, Marivel Garcia, 32, said Michael had been at home during a school vacation when she went out to have her taxes done. When she got home, he was gone, and soon after she got a call from authorities saying he had been rescued.

    "They told me they pulled my son out of the L.A. river," she said. "At first, I didn't believe it ... I thought it was a prank call."

    Michael didn't want to talk much when she joined him at a hospital, his mother said.

    "He thought I was going to be mad at him," she said. "He was very upset with himself. He felt like an idiot because of what he did."

  2. #2
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    Dec 2004


    Way to go, Glad everything worked out good.
    "I am telling the truth, I was driving through the warehouse and the wall jumped in front of my fork lift. I honked the horn and it never listened."

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