PACOIMA — Firefighters fished two teen-agers out of the Pacoima Wash near Ritchie Valens Park on Saturday afternoon in the fourth such rescue operation there this year.
Manuel Hanogose, 14, and Ivan Valles, 17, fell into the fast-moving, one-foot-deep wash in separate accidents around 12:45 p.m., but were rescued within minutes of each other, said Los Angeles City Fire Department spokesman Bob Collis.
Both suffered bumps and bruises, but no serious injuries.
Manuel told police that he was trying to cross the wash on foot but lost his balance and was carried away by the current. He caught hold of a wire and was able to pull himself to one side of the wash, Collis said. Firefighters then lowered a ladder from a helicopter and pulled Manuel out.
He was taken to Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills for observation.
Ivan said he was riding his mountain bike near the rocky edge of the water when he lost control and jumped off before the bike toppled over.
"It's real slippery," the Pacoima youth said. "When I finally chased after it, I ended up falling in."
Ivan said he was in the water for about two minutes before the rescue crew threw him a life preserver and pulled him to shore.
At least seven people in four incidents have been rescued from the wash this year.
Although the wash is fenced off, people often scale the barrier and gain access to the water.
"You can talk until you're blue in the face about it," said Collis, "but the kids are still going to get in there."