Dramatic Helicopter Rescue Saves Woman Trapped in Floodwaters for Nearly 15 Hours

A harrowing incident unfolded in Livermore, California, as a woman faced a life-threatening situation, spending nearly 15 hours atop her overturned car in floodwaters. The woman attempted to cross the Del Valle creek around 7 p.m. Monday, underestimating the water’s depth due to recent rains in the area. Her vehicle was quickly overtaken by unexpected creek water levels, leaving her stranded.

The predicament took a fortunate turn when a camper spotted her on top of the vehicle the next morning and alerted authorities. The Alameda County Fire Department and California Highway Patrol (CHP) joined forces for a challenging rescue operation.

In a remarkable display of coordination, a CHP helicopter was deployed to airlift the woman to safety. A San Ramon Valley Fire Department helicopter rescue technician skillfully harnessed the woman and lifted her from the precarious situation. The entire rescue operation was captured in footage shared by both the Alameda County Fire Department and CHP.

Despite losing her phone and other important items when her car overturned, the woman managed to swim out and perch atop the vehicle as it became submerged. The rescue technician successfully placed her in a harness, and both were safely hoisted into the air. After reaching solid ground, the woman, displaying incredible resilience, was transported to a local hospital with only minor injuries.

The incident serves as a testament to the critical role that timely intervention played in saving the woman’s life. Battalion Chief Kent Carlin emphasized that the woman’s fortune was greatly attributed to the observant camper who promptly called for help. The unexpected rescue underscores the unpredictability of weather-related challenges and the importance of public awareness during adverse conditions.

In the aftermath of the ordeal, the woman expressed gratitude and relief to be out of harm’s way. Her ability to remain in good spirits throughout the rescue operation, coupled with the swift response of emergency services, contributed to a positive outcome. The incident serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of weather events and the critical role of both public vigilance and coordinated rescue efforts in ensuring community safety.