The rescue occurred early Sunday morning at Wallace Falls, a park located approximately 50 miles northeast of Seattle. According to the Seattle Times
, Snohomish County rescuers "plucked" the boy from the ledge he had been hanging onto to avoid being swept over the falls' 265-foot drop.
The teen was out hiking with his father and some friends around 5 p.m. Saturday when he slipped and fell while wading in the river.
reported (via Associated Press) he ended up stuck in between two waterfalls after being swept 10-feet down a smaller waterfall.
As he was sliding towards the perilous larger waterfall, he pulled himself out of the river, grabbed onto a ledge and held on.
"It's just whitewater in there," Deputy Bill Quistorf, of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said, reported the Seattle Times. "It's a miracle that he got out."
The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Unit and Gold Bar Fire steadily worked to rescue the teen. A helicopter was flown in, and two rescuers were lowered approximately 200 yards downstream. They had a difficult time performing the rescue due to the location where the boy ended up. King 5 News
reported rescuers reached an adjacent area and sent him supplies while trying to reach him. One of the rescuers reportedly almost fell in when a rope snapped, but his companion had kept him from falling.
"With the risk involved and how complicated it was, the rescue they pulled off was just amazing," said Quistorf.
They finally were able to complete the rescue just after1:30 a.m. on Sunday, but had to make camp until morning. Media reports say after the rescue he looked to be in good shape, but was exhausted from his ordeal.
An updated report from King 5 News
identified the teen as William Hickman.
When talking about the accident Hickman, speaking at his home, said, "I was thinking it wasn't real, like, 'This cannot be happening,'" adding, "When I fell, I was in standing position with my hand up and I was completely underwater and there was a lot of space below my feet."
Today, he's in much better shape and even able to joke. "The worst waiting game ever," Hickman laughed as he recalled the rescue to King 5 News