first published on February 14, 2017 by Will
Black Hawk crew members from the California Air National Guard rescued an 81-year-old man who had been swept into turbulent flood waters in Plumas County, California on Friday.
Rodger McMurtry, 81, attempted to cross a flooded bridge when his vehicle stalled. He made the decision to exit the vehicle and was violently swept downstream. He was able to grasp some branches of a tree, but was seconds from death.
The Black Hawk crew was flying nearby, assessing the flood damage and gathering the necessary information for further evacuation orders. The crew was alerted to McMurtry’s situation and prepared their jungle penetrating hoist to rescue the stranded man.
With much risk to his own life, the serviceman was lowered into the deep and rapidly flowing water. You can see he completely submerges a few times as he struggles to beat the current, while getting the large, exhausted man secured to the hoist.
Finally, they extract McMurtry to the safety of the local hospital for treatment. These men are absolute heroes and are deserving of the highest home front medals for their actions.