Message in bottle saves household stranded on waterfall

Krystal Ramirez (L), Hunter Whitson (C), Curtis Whitson (R), pictured were rescue crew after their ordeal

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CBS – Newspath video

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Krystal Ramirez (L), Hunter Whitson (C), Curtis Whitson (R), pictured had been rescue crew after their ordeal


A household of three who obtained caught on a raging waterfall had been rescued after floating an SOS message in a bottle down a river.

Curtis Whitson, his girlfriend, and his 13-year-old son had been on a backtracking journey in central California in June.


Their plan was to observe the Arroyo Seco River by a canyon till they reached the waterfall.

On the waterfall, they might shimmy down a rope and keep it up their journey to a campsite.

However on day three of the hike the household discovered themselves stranded in a slender a part of canyon the place the partitions had been 40ft (15m) excessive on both facet.

The rope Mr Whitson anticipated to be there wasn’t, that means they could not climb down or out. To make issues worse, the waterfall was flowing too quick for them to enter.

“My coronary heart sank once I realised the quantity of water was simply too harmful to make rappelling down attainable,” Mr Whitson advised CNN.

With no telephone sign or “a single soul” in sight, Mr Whitson concocted a plan. He wrote a be aware on a bar order slip that his girlfriend, Krystal Ramirez, 34, had dropped at maintain sport scores: “We’re caught right here on the waterfall. Get assist please,” the be aware learn.

Mr Whitson put the be aware in a inexperienced water bottle and carved “assist” into the facet. Then he threw the bottle into the water. “With one fortunate toss, it went proper over the waterfall,” he advised CNN.

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Cindi Barbour

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Curtis Whitson positioned the SOS be aware in a inexperienced consuming bottle, pictured right here

The be aware was discovered round a quarter-mile (zero.4km) down-river by two hikers, who raised the alarm, Mr Whitson stated.

Rescue crew discovered Mr Whitson, his son Curtis and Ms Ramirez at round midnight on 15 June, simply hours after hikers discovered the floating message.

“They had been actually out of choices in the event that they hadn’t gotten the message out that approach, it’d’ve been some time,” Todd Brethour, of the California Freeway Patrol, stated.

Mr Whitson, a glass and door repairman from Morro Bay, California, stated he desires to seek out the hikers who discovered his message.

“It blows me away the way it all got here completely collectively,” he advised the Washington Publish. “What are the percentages?”

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