SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Firefighters rescued a gardener who fell 60 feet down an abandoned well near Rocky Nook Park in Santa Barbara on Wednesday afternoon.
Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said the man believed to be about 40 was conscious and talking when rescuers got there just after 3 p.m.
Station eleven firefighter paramedic Shankar Tillotson was the first on the scene.
Crews sent him down into the well to help hoist the man who spoke little English to safety.
Tillotson said he was in chest high water.
He told him in Spanish to stay calm.
It took about an hour and half to safely get the gardener out.
He was alert, but in pain from what appeared to be a broken left leg.
The man was reportedly doing some landscaping work when a cement covering that hid the abandoned well crumbled.
He had disappeared earlier in the afternoon, Some people thought he might be napping, until they heard calls for help.
Neighbors and renters living on the property said they didn't know about the well located near the driveway.
Connie Glaser said, "We had no idea there was a well on the property and there's been little kids that have lived on this property, it is shocking, we have lived here 15 years and had no idea."
There were some temporary road closures near the 2600 block of Puesta Del Sol Road, just down the street from the Museum of Natural History.
Crews covered the well with plywood for the time being.
They plan to file a report with Cal/Osha, the California division of occupational safety.