News, Patient Care

Swift Water Rescue Saves New Mexico Teen

A teenage boy is “lucky to be alive” after being swept in an arroyo for several miles Wednesday, officials said.

The 16-year-old boy, who was not identified, was with friends at a park near Juan Tabo and Candelaria NE when he stepped into an almost empty arroyo shortly after 3 p.m. Upon taking the second step in, a strong current swept him away, Albuquerque Fire Department spokeswoman Melissa Romero said.

The water was at most 2 feet high but traveled about 35 mph, Romero said.

“That’s why he couldn’t get up,” she said.

The boy was swept through the water for more than five miles.

Romero said 13 rescue units responded, covering four different areas where they thought they might be able to pull the boy out.

Firefighters finally pulled him out of the water at Morningside and Cutler NE by throwing a rope and reeling him in.

He suffered cuts and bruises and was taken to a hospital, Romero said.

A firefighter involved in the rescue also suffered abrasions but was not hospitalized.

Romero said a person should never walk into an arroyo under any circumstance because a current can happen suddenly.