SNOHOMISH, WA. (WTVR) – A 13-year-old boy had a real close call after getting stuck at the top of a 270-foot waterfall in Washington state stranded for hours as crews tried to reach him.
“I wanted to go in … just to wade a little bit,” William Hickman said at a news conference Monday where he was joined by the people who staged the dramatic, middle-of the night operation.
It had been warm earlier in the day Saturday, and Hickman said he and his 9-year-old brother thought they could get in a quick dip.
“I was pretty determined to go swimming, to get in the water,” he said.
But the whitewater swept him over a 10-foot waterfall. He managed to pull himself onto a narrow rock shelf just before the main falls.
The current pushed him toward a narrow rock shelf just above Wallace Falls northeast of Seattle, and he was able to scramble out to wait for rescuers.
He stayed there, cold and wet, for the next eight and a half hours. His father shouted encouragement, telling him he was going to be OK. Crews later tossed him blankets, energy bars and fruit snacks.
Officials released a video Monday of the rescue operation.
The video shot by a volunteer rescuer, shows Hickman huddled on a narrow, sloping rock shelf with his back to the water just above the popular hiking attraction.
One roped-up rescuer cautiously makes his way to the boy using an aluminum ladder as a foothold, and then guides him up a rock wall to safety.
The 10 rescuers camped with him overnight, and a sheriff’s office helicopter flew them down off the mountain at 6 a.m. Sunday. There was no place for the helicopter to land to pick them up, so the boy and the rescuers rode on a platform hanging from a cable 80 feet below the helicopter.