This man is so lucky to be alive!
NEVADA COUNTY, CA (KCRA/CNN) - A man who was rescued from dangerous river rapids in northern California is okay.He said he was extremely grateful for the chopper team that saved him, and the whole thing was caught on video.Kalani Tuiono, 25, waved to rescue crews, stranded on a rock in the middle of turbulent south Yuba River Rapids.He recalled those terrifying moments in the dangerous rapids."I honestly don't know how I made it on that rock, but I think if I didn't, I probably wouldn't be talking to you right now," Tuiono said.The California Highway Patrol captured the dramatic video of a rescue technician from Truckee Fire descending into the canyon.In the helicopter, a CHP officer maneuvered the basket carefully down to Tuionoi."I could feel the wind from the helicopter and it was getting difficult to balance on the rock, it was difficult to breathe," Tuiono said.Finally, the rescue fireman grabbed Tuiono into the basket and he's flown to safety."I really will be forever appreciative. My appreciation is through the sky right now," Tuiono said.Tucked away in the basket, Tuiono flew over the rapids that tossed him around.The current had swept him up during a swim."I thought I could swim across what appeared to be a calmer part of the river. The feeling the current had on me was like the start of a roller coaster,” Tuiono said. “I'm 6'4", and I’ve never felt so small in my life.”He just feels lucky and wants to pay that good fortune forward by volunteering for his local search and rescue team."My biggest thing is my gratitude to those guys. I could only imagine their families at home when they're out doing rescues like that," Tuiono said.