Cellphone helped rescuers find man swept away by Leon Creek floodwaters

Rescuers kept in contact with man through phone

By Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A cellphone helped rescuers remain in contact with a bicyclist who was swept away by floodwaters from Leon Creek and ultimately led them to finding him.

Firefighters said the 18-year-old man was able to call 911 after 4 a.m. Thursday after getting into trouble in the water.

"We were on the phone with him," said San Antonio Fire Department Battalion Chief Richard Giusti. "All of us were trying to use our sirens when we were talking to him on the phone to pinpoint his location."

Firefighters were able to track down the man in an area of the creek about 300 yards from Bandera Road near Ebert Road, Giusti said.

The man told firefighters that he was heading to work when he took one of the bike trails near Leon Creek, where he was quickly got caught up in the high water and swept away.

"We were expecting the worst, because we had a lot of water earlier," Giusti said. "He's lucky because he was washed down and washed up onto shore and was able to stay there."

Although firefighters came prepared to use a boat, all-terrain vehicles and a helicopter in the rescue, they ended up not needing any of the equipment.

They brought the man and his bicycle out of the area safely. After being checked out by paramedics, he was allowed to go home.

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