Watch: N.M. officers rescue 16 children, 9 adults from dangerous flood waters in national forest
The daring 17-hour rescue of a Boy Scout troop in the Gila National Forest was captured on video
By Ashley Silver
GILA NATIONAL FOREST, N.M. — New Mexico State Police rescued 25 people within 17 hours after raging flood waters trapped a Boy Scout troop in the Gila National Forest.
Rescue Hoist Operator Kurtus Tenorio and the New Mexico National Guard worked closely with state police officers to save 16 kids and nine adults in the troop.
“We had kind of a rough time getting in there, whether it was a pretty big challenge, we had to kind of overcome,” Tenorio told KRQE News. “We knew that the threat of the water rising and washing these people away was a serious danger, so it was our priority just to get them out of that area as fast as possible.”
KRQE reported the troop was surrounded by water, making it difficult for police helicopters to land. Crews were sent down and officers used harnesses to hoist the kids and adults into the helicopter.
“Kids were jumping up and down; high fives and hugs for everyone. You know, they were extremely excited that we had found them, and were starting to pull them,” Tenorio said.
Due to the quick actions of the police department, no one in the group was injured. The children and adults were airlifted to a local hospital and reunited with their families.