Firefighters discuss lifesaving swift water rescue of woman in North Las Vegas flood wash
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A woman made an unexpected and wild ride down a valley wash in a monsoon rainstorm last Thursday. Now some firefighters are talking about the save.
“They were saying she only had about a minute left to hold on. She looked as if she was in rough shape,” said Clark County Fire Department Captain Travis Grove.
Grove, along with other firefighters and police officers responded to the scene near Losee and Alexander after the woman ended up in the wash near Craig Ranch Park. People called for help when they saw the woman in the water and heard her screaming. Firefighters say the water was running up to 30 miles per hour and think she might have been floating in the water between a mile and a half and two miles.
The woman was able to cling to a pillar near Losee and Alexander when rescuers threw her a rope.
“It was on her and she tried to bite it with her teeth because her arms were stuck. Somehow, she grabbed the rope. We didn’t think she’d have enough energy to, and held on and let go of the pillar,” said Grove.
Crews on scene thought the location would be their best shot to save the woman.
“After that, there was about a three and a half to four foot drop off of what we call a strainer area where she would have gone under the 15 freeway and kind of passed under some tunnel systems, which is always dangerous because you go under there, you may not come back out,” said North Las Vegas Fire Department Battalion Chief Ben Erickson.
Rescuers were able to bring the woman to shore. They say she was taken to the hospital and later released.
It is not clear exactly how the woman ended up in the wash, but firefighters say the rescue is a clear example of why people should stay out of wash areas.
Erickson says the North Las Vegas Police Department, North Las Vegas Fire Department and Clark County Fire Department responded to the call.
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