Heart-Pounding River Rescue Caught on Video as Swimmer Clings to Rock Above Waterfall | Inside Edition

Heart-Pounding River Rescue Caught on Video as Swimmer Clings to Rock Above Waterfall

Kalani Tuiono is lucky to be alive.

Heart-stopping video taken from a rescue helicopter shows the moment a California swimmer was plucked from life-threatening river rapids over the weekend.

Kalani Tuiono was swimming Saturday in the Emerald Pools, just south of Lake Spaulding in Nevada County, when he found himself swept away by the powerful current of the South Yuba River.

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Somehow, the 25-year-old managed to make it to a rock just before plunging down a perilous waterfall.

Tuiono told local reporters that he thought he could swim across "what appeared to be a calmer part of the river" when the current proved to be too strong for him.

Lucky for Tuiono, the Truckee Fire Department showed up before it was too late.

"Shortly after arriving at scene and completing a size up, the Truckee Tahoe Regional Rescue Team was requested" and multiple rescue teams were dispatched, according to a statement from the Truckee Fire Protection District.

Officials said steep terrain made the rescue difficult, but they were soon able to get Tuiono in a basket and flown to safety.

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Upon evaluation by paramedics, the male was shaken by the incident but had only minor bumps and scrapes, officials said.

Prior to Saturday's rescue, area rescue officials pleaded with outdoor adventure seekers not to brave the waters of the Yuba River because a record snow melt has left the water extremely cold and fast-moving.

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