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Off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer saves man who was swept up by whirlpool

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A 24-year-old Fresno man was saved by an off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer on Saturday when swift currents above Bass Lake swept him into a whirlpool, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies said the man misjudged the fast current when he walked across a stream, and the flow swept him in and held him under.

CHP officer Brent Donley, who is trained in search and rescue, saved the man from drowning by throwing a rope and pulling him to safety.

Donley gave first aid to the man until search and rescue teams arrived. The man’s condition was not known.

The man had been hiking along Willow Creek before making the trek to Angel Falls.

Deputies said the current is flowing at a high rate because of the snow runoff and urged the public to not walk across swift waters.

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