Man nearly drowns on Kings River near Pine Flat Dam

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A man in his late 20s is in the hospital after nearly drowning in the Kings River on Friday. His condition is unknown.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office got a call Friday afternoon that a man who wasn’t wearing a life jacket was in trouble on the river.

He reportedly tried swimming across the river near the Pine Flat Road Bridge, just below the dam. He only made it about half way, then started to panic as he was swept downstream.

He managed to grab some brush and hold on. Deputies responded by vehicle, helicopter, and boat, but Cal Fire personnel managed to get to the man first.

They tossed devices to him, and the man grabbed hold. Firefighters pulled him to shore in a semi-conscious state. A SkyLife helicopter arrived and the air ambulance flew the man to the hospital for treatment.

Authorities say this is a potent reminder of how dangerous local waterways are with the massive snowmelt now taking place.

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