Watch: Man winched to safety by helicopter in dramatic river rescue

The man was brought to safety after being spotted clinging to a tree in the rain swollen Los Angeles River.

A helicopter crew from the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) lifted a man to safety from fast moving waters in the rain swollen Los Angeles River Thursday morning.

Preliminary information indicated that around 10am, a man was spotted in the river clinging to a tree, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department alert.

A California Highway Patrol officer and an LA park ranger kept their eyes on the man from the shore while LAFD ground and air units responded, including swiftwater rescue teams.

Eventually, the rescuer made contact with the man in the river and the two were hoisted up together to the LAFD helicopter.

The patient was conscious and alert, but was suffering from hypothermia, according to the fire department. He was taken to a local hospital and was reported to be in fair condition.

It was unclear why the man was in or near the river at the time, authorities said.

The rescue came as a major storm system brought bands of rain across Southern California.

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