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Stowaway Hops Aboard San Diego Rescue Helicopter Flight

SAN DIEGO -- Firefighter/paramedics never suspected they had a stowaway aboard their helicopter as they took a car-accident victim from Otay Mesa to Sharp Memorial Hospital the other day.

When the chopper landed on the hospital's rooftop heliport, a somewhat dazed rabbit popped out of the tank that drops water on fires and scampered away. It apparently had hopped aboard the open, empty tank at Montgomery Field, where the copter is stationed.

As soon as the accident victim, who had minor injuries, was taken care of, paramedics tried to capture their furry freeloader -- with no luck. San Diego Fire Capt. Tom Stephenson hopes the bunny scurried to freedom through the parking structure below.

Despite the water bucket ride, he says there's no truth to the urban legend that a scuba diver once was unknowingly scooped out of the ocean and unwittingly dropped on a forest fire. The rumor, circulating since 1987, claims that the charred remains of a man in scuba gear were found in a tree after a California forest fire.

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