Workers at the Coors brewery in Golden, Colorado, jumped into action when they saw a girl in an inner tube on the river running past the plant caught up in a swift current and heading downstream into more dangerous waters.
"She was this close to dying. Literally dying," employee Louis Gomez told KDVR-TV. "I have been [at Coors] 29 years … No one has ever made it this far down and lived. It just doesn't happen," he said.
The girl was on a pool toy Sunday without a life jacket in swift waters on Clear Creek and had already survived a fall from a dam with an eight-foot drop near the brewery property line, the news station reported.
Ahead, the girl would have encountered other dangers, including smaller drops and a metal gate all leading to the water treatment facility on Coors' property, KDVR reported.
Coors specialist Travis Cordova drove downstream to get ahead of the girl and jumped in the icy cold river but missed her on his first attempt to rescue her. With the help of four other workers, he managed to grab her the second time.
“She was very, very thankful. She was very emotional. She was crying. She was in a lot of pain and obviously she was in shock,” Gomez said.
Thanks to the Coors employees, this story has a happy ending, but authorities closed the river to most recreational activities Monday morning because it’s running too fast and dangerous for the average swimmer.
About the Author