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Patterson man rescued from canal

POSTED September 10, 2010 10:30 p.m.

A California Highway Patrol officer is being lauded as a hero for his actions in rescuing a man out of a canal in Patterson.

At 1:38 p.m. Thursday the CHP received a call reporting a man was in the aqueduct and was unable to get out, said CHP spokesman Officer Eric Parsons.

CHP Officer James Dixon arrived minutes later at the canal east of Interstate 5 and south of Sperry Avenue.

When Dixon arrived he observed a grey sedan alongside the canal bank with a chair and fishing gear set up nearby, but no fisherman.

The fisherman, later identified as Shaun Hale, had been pulled into the canal while trying to bring in a large catfish, according to the CHP.

Hale told the officer he had been holding onto a small crack for about an hour, but didn’t think he could hold on for much longer.

Dixon could not reach Hale, but quickly put a dog snare in his patrol car into use. Dixon was able to use the pole attached to the snare, which gave Hale something to hold onto while Dixon pulled him to the canal bank.

Although unable to pull Hale completely out of the water, Dixon held him in place until the Patterson fire Department arrived and assisted in his rescue, Parsons said.

Hale escaped the incident none the worse and with an authentic story about “the one that got away.”

“I am glad I was able to get there in time and help save him,” Dixon said.

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