2 Teens Rescued From L.A. River, May Have Been Playing Hooky
Two teens who may have decided to hide from school police in the L.A. River had to be rescued by the fire department Friday afternoon.
The girl and boy became trapped in the L.A. River wash under Laurel Canyon Bridge in Pacoima under the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway just before 4 p.m.
Monica Carazo, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Unified School District told NBC 4 that they apparently chose the spot to evade school police. (Although surely school was out by then?)
According to Erik Scott of the Los Angeles City Fire Department, the girl said she fell in and the boy dove in to help her.
Fortunately, the water was only shin-deep but the teens were unable to get out on their own.
A female Los Angeles Unified School District police officer suffered minor injuries while trying to rescue the students before the paramedics arrived, Scott told City News Service. She was taken to a nearby hospital in "good condition."
Rescuers tried a few different methods to rescue the teens, according to NBC. First, officers on either side of the river held the ends of a rope for the teens to grab onto. Then, firefighters lowered a ladder and a rescuer climbed down to grab the teens, who were then able to climb to safety.
The pair was rescued at about 4:30 p.m. and taken to a hospital as a precaution, Scott said.
UPDATE, 4:27 p.m., We were able to talk with Eric French, LAFD public service officer, who told LAist that this kind of thing "happens every winter."
The department's swift-water rescue wasn't called on because the issue was not fast-running water, but that the teens were unable to get out of the channel. "The section there is vertical, concrete walls,"he explained. "There was just no way for them to exit the river."
He couldn't cite statistics, but several people have to be rescued each year from various points along the river.
"Every time it rains, or every time there's significant rainfall, we usually will staff up swift water rescue teams and station at strategic points on la river or good access points, and prepared for anyone or anything to go in." That includes dogs. There was a well-publicized rescue of a dog from the river a few years ago.