UPDATE: Man believed to be walking in sewer tunnels sparks large rescue effort

Firefighters helped a man climb out of underground drainage tunnels after he sparked a large rescue when someone reported he was trapped in a drain at a golf course in the 6700 block of East Carson Street in Long Beach.

Long Beach fire spokesman Brian Fisk said an urban search and rescue team and hazmat personnel responded to the incident Monday morning after receiving reports of a manhole cover removed from a sidewalk adjacent to the Heartwell Golf Course.

A passerby reported seeing a man squeeze through the sewer, Fisk said.

Crews responded at about 10:32 a.m. and made verbal contact with a man and a two-man entry team was sent down to extract him but could not find him.

The Long Beach Water Department deployed a tethered robotic camera to assist in streaming all the drain lines. The robotic camera was only able to travel 600 feet and did not locate the man.

Authorities believe the man was walking around in the tunnels, which only have about 3 to 4 inches of standing water.

The man eventually appeared about two streets north in the city of Lakewood and was assisted out by county fire and sheriff’s personnel, according to Fisk.

A portion of Carson Street was shut down near Palo Verde Avenue.

Long Beach Fire Department on the scene where a man was in a sewer and storm drain in the 6700 block of East Carson Street. Monday, April 6, 2020. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Long Beach Fire Department on the scene where a man was in a sewer and storm drain in the 6700 block of East Carson Street. Monday, April 6, 2020. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Long Beach Fire Department on the scene where a man was in a sewer and storm drain in the 6700 block of East Carson Street. Monday, April 6, 2020. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Long Beach Fire Department on the scene where a man was in a sewer and storm drain in the 6700 block of East Carson Street. Monday, April 6, 2020. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Long Beach Fire Department on the scene where a man was in a sewer and storm drain in the 6700 block of East Carson Street. Monday, April 6, 2020. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Long Beach Fire Department on the scene where a man was in a sewer and storm drain in the 6700 block of East Carson Street. Monday, April 6, 2020. Photo by Stephen Carr.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015.
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