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Teen Helps Save Man Who Fell Down Mississippi River Bluff In Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The kindness of a teenager helped save the day for a man who fell down a Mississippi River bluff in south Minneapolis Wednesday.

St. Paul resident Sam Gifford and a friend were taking senior pictures along the river near 43rd Avenue and West River Parkway South, when a shout suddenly changed their focus.

"We were down there together for quite some time," Gifford said.

An older man, hunting for his drone, had slipped on a trail -- sliding 60 feet down the embankment. Minneapolis Fire Department officials say he was about 10 feet from falling straight down into the water.

"He was just out trying to fly the drone, and things went wrong," he said. I learned a few stuff from my lifeguarding training, so I used that to my advantage."

Gifford went down after the victim, keeping him company until help could arrive.

"I just kept him talking, making sure that he was comfortable, different things like that. Make sure that he wouldn't slip any further," Gifford said.

Rescue crews used a rope-pulley system to lower the man to a waiting boat below, then helped Gifford and his friend back up the steep embankment.

The victim is said to have suffered a gash to his foot, but thanks to the good Samaritans, he's on the mend.

Firefighters say the river banks are especially slippery this time of year with the fallen leaves.

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