Pine-Strawberry firefighters staged a dramatic rescue Monday afternoon, saving a 13-year-old Phoenix boy who was trapped by rising floodwaters at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.
Firefighters Zac Graham and Paul Volkes laid a 30-foot ladder on two ledges high above the swollen Pine
Creek, then helped the boy crawl across it to safety.
"Ropes were going to take too long and they were afraid of the water coming up, and the only other alternative was a swift-water rescue -- and they always try to avoid that if they can," spokesperson Stacey Parkerson said.
"They put a life vest on the young man along with a rope harness and they pulled him across."
The boy, Colby Beasley, was visiting the area with his family and became separated from them during a hike. When the floodwaters trapped him, he signaled for help.
"He was able to get up to a high point on the rocks and -- smart kid -- he used the flash of his camera to start signaling," Parkerson said.
The rescue took about two hours.