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Drunk man rescued after falling 25 feet into SLO's Stenner Creek, officials say

A man is rescued from Stenner Creek in San Luis Obispo on Wednesday night. | Tribune photo by David Middlecamp
A man is rescued from Stenner Creek in San Luis Obispo on Wednesday night. | Tribune photo by David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

San Luis Obispo city firefighters and police responded to a man who fell into Stenner Creek near Chorro and Lincoln streets around 8 p.m. Wednesday.

According to San Luis Obispo Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Slate, the man, who appeared to be homeless and extremely intoxicated, had fallen some 25 feet from the creek’s banks after getting out of a taxi and walking behind a house near Chorro and Lincoln.

“He’d been drinking and was probably going to his camp to sleep,” Slate said. He added that the man appeared to be in his early 50s; he couldn’t disclose his name.

The first engine to respond asked for the department’s Tiller ladder truck while it illuminated the site of the fall with the help of police officers. A portion of Chorro Street was blocked during the rescue.

Using the department’s portable pulley system and rescue basket, the Tiller’s 100-foot ladder was almost completely extended until it hovered over the man, who was then lifted to the adjacent sidewalk and initially treated by San Luis Ambulance paramedics.

He was subsequently taken to Sierra Vista Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, where he was treated for his injuries.

“When someone is that intoxicated,” Slate said, “it’s difficult to determine the extent of injuries.”

He added that the rescue was a “very smooth and very safe operation. Mechanized equipment (such as the ladder truck) is huge in helping keep the city safe.”

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