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Curtis Whitson was on a four-day camping trip with his girlfriend Krystal Ramirez and son, 13, in Arroyo Seco, California, when they hiked a remote gorge

Captive family is rescued from the top of a raging waterfall after hikers found an SOS message in a bottle they had thrown into the foaming water

  • Curtis Whitson, 44, was imprisoned with his girlfriend and son, 13, in California
  • Trio walked to the top of a gorge, but was caught after a rope was missing
  • Father scratched & # 39; HELP & # 39; it sent it into the waterfall on a water bottle with an SOS note
  • Family was saved when two walkers found a green bottle and warned rescue team
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A family caught above a furious 40ft waterfall was rescued after walkers found an SOS message in a water bottle that they had thrown away downstream.

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Curtis Whitson was on a four-day camping trip with his girlfriend and son, 13, in Arroyo Seco, California, as they hiked into a remote gorge.

But Mr. Whitson, 44, was shocked when he discovered that a rope to help the family descend – confirmed when he made the trip seven years earlier – was missing.

Curtis Whitson was on a four-day camping trip with his girlfriend Krystal Ramirez and son, 13, in Arroyo Seco, California, when they hiked a remote gorge

Curtis Whitson was on a four-day camping trip with his girlfriend Krystal Ramirez and son, 13, in Arroyo Seco, California, when they hiked a remote gorge

Because there was no mobile service to contact the emergency services, the trio made an SOS sign with stones in the hope that someone would recognize them.

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Girlfriend Krystal Ramirez, from Morro Bay, California, told Washington Post: & I knew our friends would call someone at some point when we didn't show up. But I was worried about how long it would take for someone to find us. & # 39;

In an act of desperation, the father, a door repairman, scratched & # 39; HELP & # 39; on all sides of his bright green water bottle, before he wrote an SOS note with a date that he sealed inside.

Mrs. Ramirez said: & He asked if I had anything to write with and I remembered that I had brought pens and a bar order block for a way to keep track of card games. I am very competitive. & # 39;

In a desperate act, the father, a door repairman, scratched & # 39; HELP & # 39; on all sides of his bright green water bottle, before he wrote an SOS note with a date that he sealed inside

In a desperate act, the father, a door repairman, scratched & # 39; HELP & # 39; on all sides of his bright green water bottle, before he wrote an SOS note with a date that he sealed inside

In a desperate act, the father, a door repairman, scratched & # 39; HELP & # 39; on all sides of his bright green water bottle, before he wrote an SOS note with a date that he sealed inside

On the note he wrote: & # 39; WE HAVE BEEN PRISONED @ THE WATERFALL PLEASE GET HELP & # 39; with the date
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On the note he wrote: & # 39; WE HAVE BEEN PRISONED @ THE WATERFALL PLEASE GET HELP & # 39; with the date

On the note he wrote: & # 39; WE HAVE BEEN PRISONED @ THE WATERFALL PLEASE GET HELP & # 39; with the date

The bottle launched the bottle through a narrow passage in the waterfall and hoped they would be found on their first night on top of the gorge.

Whitson said: & # 39; It was kind of scary. We had not seen a single soul during the entire trip & # 39 ;.

Fortunately, two walkers had seen the green water bottle in a narrow stream in the neighborhood and had warned a nearby campsite to call a search and rescue team.

Because there was no mobile service to contact the emergency services, the trio made an SOS sign with stones in the hope that someone would recognize them
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Because there was no mobile service to contact the emergency services, the trio made an SOS sign with stones in the hope that someone would recognize them

Because there was no mobile service to contact the emergency services, the trio made an SOS sign with stones in the hope that someone would recognize them

Search teams came into action and flew over the waterfall with a helicopter where they used night glasses and infrared cameras to spot their campfire.

Using a loudspeaker, they called on the family – who slept – that they would come back in the morning to save them, according to the publication.

Pilot Joe Kingman said the family & # 39; very & # 39; was happy to see the helicopter after the crew brought the trio to safety.

The waterfall where the family was imprisoned. Search teams came into action and flew over the waterfall with a helicopter where they used night glasses and infrared cameras to spot their campfire
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The waterfall where the family was imprisoned. Search teams came into action and flew over the waterfall with a helicopter where they used night glasses and infrared cameras to spot their campfire

The waterfall where the family was imprisoned. Search teams came into action and flew over the waterfall with a helicopter where they used night glasses and infrared cameras to spot their campfire

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