Man calls 911 after getting swept into L.A. River in Sylmar area

Local news
A man carts his belongings along the L.A. River to higher ground before a rainstorm flooded his camp on an island in the middle of the L.A. River near Atwater Village in November 2018. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

A man carts his belongings along the L.A. River to higher ground before a rainstorm flooded his camp on an island in the middle of the L.A. River near Atwater Village in November 2018. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

A man who fell into the Los Angeles River Tuesday morning was rescued after holding on to his cell phone and communicating with firefighters.

Dispatchers received a 9-1-1 call from the man while he was in the L.A. River near Sylmar High School just before 8 a.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department said in an alert.

The 26-year-old man was swept into a covered channel of the river.

He was able to maintain his cell phone to communicate with dispatchers, LAFD said.

A fire engine on the street above continued to honk, as firefighters removed maintenance hole covers in the street.

The victim reported by phone when he could hear the honk nearby, and firefighters carried out the rescue through that maintenance hole.

The man is in “fair condition” and being evaluated by firefighter-paramedics for minor trauma and mild hypothermia, the department said.

The man had fallen in as a powerful Pacific storm reached the area, bringing widespread showers with a possibility of thunderstorms and damaging winds.

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