"Sending a distress message in a bottle would not typically be considered a sensible strategy. However, it miraculously worked for three hikers from Morro Bay, California, who found themselves stranded atop a 40-foot waterfall at the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park on California's Central Coast.
"In June 2019, for Father's Day weekend, Curtis Whitson, his girlfriend, Krystal Ramirez, and his 13-year-old son Hunter decided to go backpacking along central California's Arroyo Seco River. Things went according to plan for the first two days, with the trio spending hours hiking through the beautiful forest and drifting down the river on inner tubes. On June 16, which happened to be Father's Day, Whitson, who was familiar with the area, led the trip to the Arroyo Seco narrows — a spot in the river surrounded by solid rock up to 40-feet-high on each side.
Whitson's planned for the group to rappel down the side of a waterfall along the river, where access is blocked by the perilous drop, and then hike the few miles back to the campgrounds where the journey had begun. However, when the hikers reached the waterfall, Whitson realized that unlike his previous trip through the area, the water currents were too strong to navigate across. To make matters worse, the rope he was expecting them to use for their descent was missing. "My heart sank when I realized the volume of water was just too dangerous to make rappelling down possible," Whitson told CNN."
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