Entertaining real-life stories with valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on December 3rd 2019
Curtis Whitson: Trapped atop a 4-story high waterfall, his desperate note in a water bottle brought his and his party's rescue.

Arroyo Seco Waterfall
Arroyo Seco Gorge Waterfall
Photo: ropewiki.com

The Arroyo Seco Gorge in Central California is rugged and beautiful and treasured among those who seek isolation in nature's magnificence.

But given its isolation and cell phone limits, if anything goes wrong, it can be dangerous.

Here is what happened to Curtis:

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Four days into their wilderness journey Curtis, his girlfriend Krystal Ramirez and his 13-year-old son Hunter became captives of this raging waterfall.

A rope, used to assist persons descending the waterfall feature, (and seen in photo, above), had either become dislodged, or had washed away from heavy rains, making a safe descent, impossible.

Out of options, Curtis grabbed his lime-green Nalgene water bottle and scratched "Help!" on each side, and put an SOS note inside.

He threw the bottle over the waterfall hoping someone would find it.

The trio also created an SOS sign using rocks.

Meanwhile, against all odds, two hikers downstream soon found the bright green bottle, read its note and hiked to the Arroyo Seco Campground.

There, they spoke with Campground manager Cindi Barbour who called the California Highway Patrol (CHP) search and rescue team.

At about midnight, using infrared technology and night vision goggles, a CHP rescue helicopter spotted the stranded party.

The trio was suddenly awakened by a loudspeaker: "This is search and rescue - you have been found! Stay put and we'll be back to get you tomorrow morning."

Ecstatic, the three of them shouted, hugged and cried.

At 10 a.m. the next morning, a second CHP rescue helicopter arrived to lift them out of the gorge.


Photo: Joe Kingman

That pilot later said that in his 23-years of rescue operations, this was the first one that ever came from a message in a bottle.

The lesson: Never give-up hope, for miracles really do happen.

Editor's Note: To learn more, click here. To see the Arroyo Seco Gorge, click here.

In the next KazanToday: A man who began cleaning up the U.S.'s vast pollution problem, one piece of garbage at a time.


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