Man and dog trapped in river, rescued by deputies

National & World

Two Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputies saved a man and his dog as he was clinging to a tree trapped in the middle of the San Joaquin River.

It happened August 26th in Lost Lake Park.

The man’s kayak overturned and a woman heard him calling for help and called 9-1-1.

The rescue was caught on camera by the sheriff’s EAGLE One helicopter.

Deputies Corey Holston and Robert Mehling said the 66-year-old man and his 90 pound boxer were in a kayak when a branch hit his face, leaving him disoriented.

“He wasn’t able to see where he was going into, subsequently his kayak went over the rock, into the pool and underneath a downed tree,” Mehling said.

Deputies were able to reach the pair and first saved the large dog by carrying her across the river by her life jacket. They then returned for the man.

The cameras caught how close he came to death as the current trapped the capsized kayak against the tree.

“If he wasn’t able to get out of the kayak he would have definitely drowned, because it had gone under and flipped upside down and filled up with water,” Mehling said.

After about an hour the man was helped to safety. His rescuers said the water may have looked shallow, but it was more dangerous than it seemed.

“The water may seem somewhat calm and easy to cross, but as soon as you get there you realize you’re in a world of trouble,” Mehling said.

He also said the man did everything right, and both he and his dog were wearing life jackets.

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