SONOMA (KPIX) — A Coast Guard helicopter had to rescue a distressed fisherman after a sneaker wave pulled him about 500 feet offshore near Salt Point State Park in Sonoma County, according to authorities.

A bystander saw him struggling Saturday morning and called for help.

Rescuers said the water was bone-chilling.

“He ended up being in the water for about an hour which is amazing that he was able to stay conscious that long,” said Lt. Commander Terry Herdliska, the pilot in the rescue. “Fifty degree water — someone who’s not used to that can succumb to hypothermia in a matter of minutes.”

Luckily, that didn’t happen.

The Coast Guard was able to hoist the fisherman up and get him back to shore.

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