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Gotta See Video: Off-Duty Cop Rescues Man After He's Caught In A Deadly Whirlpool

He pulls a MacGyver to come up with the one tool he needed to get this guy out alive.


Even though I knew how this story would turn out, I was still on the edge of my seat when I watched cell phone video of an off duty California Highway Patrol officer save the life of a man caught a whirlpool over the weekend.


When you see how fast the water was moving, and how the victim was struggling to hold his head above water, it's clear the guy would have drowned if not for Officer Brent Donley's quick thinking and heroic actions.

According to the CHP Fresno Facebook page, Officer Donley and his family were hiking at Angel Falls in Madera County, near Yosemite National Park, when a woman rushed up, said another man was caught in a whirlpool, and asked Donley if he had a rope to try and get the guy out.



Officer Donley didn't have a rope. But he had an idea.

He quickly cut the paracord-style strap out of his backpack and tied it to a branch to give the victim something to grab. While other hikers held on to Donley's belt to keep him from falling in, Donley tossed the branch to the man, and after several tries, pulled him to safety.

CHP Officer Brent Donley told the story of the harrowing water rescue on Fox.Fox News

Donley, who is trained in search and rescue, told Fox News Channel's America's Newsroom that the 24-year-old man was "pretty scared at that time. He said that his feet, his hands and his legs and arms were numb and he was scared about how much longer he'd be able to hold on," Donley said.



"The water was fairly cold, but I was trying to keep him calm and focused on me rather than everybody that was trying to shout out to him because … I wanted to make sure he understood exactly the instructions I was giving him."



According to the sheriff's office, the victim tried to cross the river upstream where it's shallower, but misjudged the swiftness of the water, lost his footing and washed downstream into the whirlpool.


"We sincerely thank Officer Donley for his quick-thinking and preparedness," the sheriff's office said. "This search and rescue call could have ended very badly if not for his help."

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