Flow of waterfall was strong. Alan had rafted in South Fork American river, California. He thought that hew would hop out of his raft into the shallow water, descended the rock on either sides of the fall and escape as he did earlier.
This time it was not so. Due to heavy snow and spring rains the waterfall had become severe.
Alan was not alone, but with his girlfriend Suzanne and 12 years old son Rob. They had approached the waterfalls late in the afternoon. Alan could feel from the increasing roar of water they were in serious trouble. They did not find any place to escape.
There was no cellphone service and they had not seen a single person from the past two days. Alan knew that they had to spend their time in jungle where wild animals like lions and snakes were found.
Some voices they could hear from the other side of the waterfall. They all yelled for help but it gone in vain because sound of the rushing water did not let their voices go.
“We have to send the message to these people.” Suzanne said.
Alan grabbed a stick and took his pocketknife to carve “Help” on it. He tied it to the rope so the people could know on the other side. He tossed it over the falls, hoping to get some reply.
After some time, they could see some sticks coming towards them as if thrown by somebody as a reply to them. The sticks fell into the water with splash.
They waited for half an hour for help. When did not get help, decided to navigate upstream to the shore where they had lunch. They made a fire and laid out a tarp.
They even wrote SOS in rocks near to them.
It was getting dark, so they placed their flashlights on, pointing towards the SOS written on the rock.
At night, they felt of not getting any help. So, they opened their sleeping bags.
Alan stroked the fire to keep the wild animals away.
After midnight, they heard the sound of chopper hovering above them. “Here they are. Let’s get up.” Alan said to Suzanne and Rob.
Alan got out and started flashing to the chopper by using his flashlight. He, Suzanne and Rob were waving and shouting for their postion to be detected. They heard the voice,” This is rescue operation and we have found you.”
The chopper looked for a perfect place to land and got it. Crew members got down and escorted all the three to the chopper. The trio were airlifted and were rescued.
Next morning, Alan with his family went to Rescue operation office and asked for the person who reported to them for the rescue. Address was given.
They went to home of the person. He was employee of telephone department.
“Today we have survived because of you.” Alan said and all the three sincerely thanked him.
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