A man was rescued from the Merced River after a rafting trip with a friend and "large amounts of alcohol" took a wrong turn, deputies said.
Robert Apodoca told deputies he and his 38-year-old friend, Joshua Eugene Fox, were rafting on the Merced River at about 3 p.m. on Sunday when they started floating downstream from the Shaffer Bridge, according to a Merced County Sheriff's Office news release.
Apodoca told deputies they had been drinking "large amounts of alcohol" and were separated somewhere between the Shaffer Bridge and Cressey Bridge, the release states.
Apodoca tried to paddle upstream to Shaffer Bridge but was forced onto land after his raft was punctured. He walked to his car and then drove to the Cressey Bridge where he was supposed to meet up with Fox.
But when Fox didn't show, Apodoca called the sheriff's office for help at 2:38 a.m. Monday, the release states.
After about five minutes of searching, the Merced County Sheriff's Air Operation Unit found Fox "heavily intoxicated" and stuck in some debris in the river near the Cressey Bridge, Deputy Daryl Allen said, adding Fox refused medical treatment after being rescued by the air unit.
Apodoca, who also was reportedly intoxicated when calling authorities, was not cited or arrested for allegedly driving to Cressey Bridge after drinking, Allen said, because Apodoca was not driving when contacting the sheriff's office and deputies did not witness him driving while intoxicated.