Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
Thirteen-year-old William Hickman is “lucky to be alive” after a harrowing incident in which he was stranded by a waterfall in Washington state. Hickman cites the “Pendragon” series of fantasy books as having taught him the skills he needed to scramble to safety, as MSNBC.com reports:
Hickman was hiking Saturday with his father, 9-year-old brother and friends above Wallace Middle Falls, near the town of Gold Bar about 45 miles northeast of Seattle. He wanted to cool off.
“I wanted to go in … just to wade a little bit,” Hickman said at a Monday news conference, where he was joined by the people who staged a dramatic, middle-of the night operation.
But he slipped and the whitewater swept him over a 10-foot drop into a deep pool above the waterfall.
In the water, the teen quickly thought of advice from a fantasy-novel character Bobby Pendragon of the Pendragon Adventure books by D.J. MacHale: “Go feet first, stay to the sides and kick off the rocks,” the Seattle Times reported.
He managed to scramble onto a narrow rock shelf just before the main falls.
He stayed there, cold and wet, for the next eight and a half hours, Hickman and rescuers said. His father shouted encouragement, telling him he was going to be OK. Rescue crews later tossed him blankets, energy bars and fruit snacks.
Image: Waterfall, via Shutterstock.