ATWATER VILLAGE (CBSLA.com) — Four people were rescued from an island on the raging Los Angeles River to the shore in Atwater Village early Monday morning.
Two men and two women were stranded on an island about a quarter-mile north of Los Feliz Boulevard after rain increased the river flow, Los Angeles Fire spokesman Erik Scott said. Los Angeles and Glendale firefighters responded at about 2:40 a.m. and began the rescue effort.
A swift water rescue team used a rubber boat to retrieve the four adults at about 4:15 a.m., Scott said.
The rescue team had to use a boat in their rescue operation, rather than a helicopter, due to the amount of vegetation covering the island.
“Once we got over there, we encountered all the bamboo,” team leader Tim Foor said. “It was really tough to get through all that bamboo and the water was still over the heads so they couldn’t walk the boat in.”
The four people, transients who live on the island, showed some signs of hypothermia, Foor said. They were taken to local hospitals in fair condition.
About 100 firefighters were involved in the operation, including some “strategically placed at pre-planned rescue points along the LA River,” Scott said.
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