Brave Teens Save A Family And Instructor After Their Raft Capsizes In Harsh Rapids

by Lindsey Smith
Lindsey is from Florida and has worked in online and print media. Her happy place is Michaels craft store.

Sean Hamilton, Sebastian Gutierrez, and Ryan McLernon were enjoying a camping trip at Kern River in California over Memorial Day Weekend 2017 when the teenagers’ weekend turned into a rescue mission.

“We heard some commotion down by the river,” Sean said. “So, I ran down to the beach area and I saw about six people in the water just kinda floating around trying to get out.”

A raft including a family of five and one instructor overturned in the water and they were struggling to stay above the current. “We got on our bikes and just hauled to the other side of the river,” Sebastian said. “We heard them screaming for help.”

The teens knew how rough the rapids were since they had taken a rafting trip earlier in the day and learned about how quick the water moved. “When we went on our rafting trip earlier in the day, they said it was, the water was moving equivalent to like 6,000 basketballs coming at you at once,” Sean says.

One woman, in particular, was in need of help, and fast. “We saw her holding onto a branch and we could tell she was getting tired because one of her hands slipped,” Ryan said. “About 10 seconds later, her other hand slipped and she just went face-down.”

The teens went down and pulled each person out of the freezing water and got everyone out safely.

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Footage provided courtesy of KTLA (KTLA 5 Los Angeles)

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