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67-Year-Old Woman Rescued From Powerful Swift Water

NEEDLES:( On Sunday, October 18, 2015 at approximately 9:30 p.m., the San Bernardino County Fire Department received reports of two vehicles possibly stuck in rising flash flood waters on U.S. Hwy 95, between Interstate 40 and the Nevada border. The incident occurred in an area free of any rainfall, after a strong storm cell traveled through an area miles away.

When firefighters arrived on scene, they found a single passenger vehicle stuck in the center of a 300’ wide area of powerful swift water.

It was clear to firefighters that an occupant was inside as the brake lights lit up periodically through the window-high water. After assessing the integrity of the road surface using Swift Water Rescue techniques, they moved the fire engine closer to the vehicle to use as a rescue platform. The vehicle was now approximately 75’ from the fire engine with water traveling rapidly over the hood and up to the windows.

Using those same rescue techniques, the fire crew made it to the vehicle and placed a lift vest on a 67 year old female occupant. With the victim secured to firefighters, they made their way back to the fire engine and then to an awaiting ambulance. Other than being extremely cold, wet, and terrified, the victim was uninjured.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department was assisted by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department who provided a helicopter to search the area downstream from the incident for any additional vehicles, and found none. In addition to ground and air units from SBCSD, firefighters were assisted by the CHP, Baker Ambulance, the Clark County Fire Department, AMR, Cal-Trans, and the San Bernardino County Roads Department.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department remind its residents not to try and drive over fast flowing water, whether it is at an intersection, bridge crossing or in the middle of the roadway. If you are caught in swift water and your vehicle stalls, stay in your vehicle and wait for firefighter assistance. Do NOT try to exit your vehicle, as the water flows swiftly and can sweep you away. For more information on this and other important safety tips, visit

(source: San Bernardino County Fire Department)

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