The incident unfolded on Tuesday when both teens trespassed to get access to the structure of the Foresthill Bridge, high above the North Fork American River.
Then, the 19-year-old clung onto a rope high above the river and was swinging between the giant metal structures of the bridge when he became stuck.
At that point, his 17-year-old friend called emergency services to get help – but carried on filming the saga even after the rescuers arrived.
Rescuers were able to scale to the point where the 19-year-old had lowered himself – about 30 feet below the catwalk – and then dropped down to hoist him back to the upper level and to safety.
Neither of the teens were injured during the incident on Tuesday.
The rescue took the combined efforts of more than 20 first responders from Placer County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) as well as the local California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL Fire).
A statement from the sheriff’s office said: “PCSO deputies arrived and a command post was set up for both agencies to coordinate incoming resources.
“[Rescue teams] made their way onto the catwalk under the bridge and located the subject.
“PCSO’s search and rescue mountain rescue team was called and multiple team members responded to assist.”
The sheriff’s office praised the rescuers for their “exceptional job” in “saving this young man’s life”.
It added that “trespassing on the Foresthill Bridge is still illegal”.
Yet, both teens were released without charge, reported Good Morning America.
The identity of the teenagers has not been released and it is unclear whether the footage of the rescue will be released online.
The bridge is the fourth largest in the US and largest in California. Itinks the towns of Foresthill and Auburn.
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