Teen Rescued From California's Tallest Bridge

He was cited for trespassing after he was rescued from rope 700 feet above river
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2023 3:57 PM CDT
Teen Rescued From California's Tallest Bridge
The sheriff's office shared this photo of the rescue.   (Placer County Sheriff's Office)

Rescuers say a 19-year-old was "pretty shaken up" when he was brought to safety from California's tallest bridge, and it's easy to see why. The teen was stuck for more than an hour dangling from a rope around 700 feet above the North Fork of the American River. Officials say more than two dozen first responders went to the Foresthill Bridge near Auburn after they received a 911 call Monday from the teen's 17-year-old friend, KTVU reports. The younger teen had been filming his friend swinging from the bridge's catwalk on a 30-foot rope.

The Placer County Sheriff's Office says the 19-year-old's equipment failed and he couldn't pull himself back up. The sheriff's office says the teen was checked by medics after the rescue but didn't have any visible injuries and declined additional medical attention. Both teens were cited for trespassing on the bridge, which is the fourth highest in the US, standing 730 feet above the river.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Nolan Hale says stunts of any kind at the bridge are illegal—and they usually result in recovery operations, not rescues. "This is the first incident of a live rescue in the last 30 years," Hale tells CBS Sacramento. "Someone dangling 700 feet above the American River is a high-risk operation with vertical rope rescue." (Read more rescue stories.)

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