Man rescued after being stuck in fan shaft at California vineyard

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Why a 38-year-old man climbed into a fan shaft at a Northern California vineyard remains a mystery to authorities. What was clear, however, is that he was rescued Tuesday after being trapped for two days.

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“The motivation to climb into the fan shaft remains a total mystery,” the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

The man was discovered by a deputy who responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle parked near the winery, KNTV reported. The deputy initially was unable to find the driver, but saw a hat resting on a piece of farming equipment nearby, the television station reported.

The deputy then found the man trapped inside the fan shaft, KNTV reported.

Large fans in vineyards are used to circulate air across vines to keep grapes from freezing during cooler months, according to The Associated Press.

“The man indicated he liked to take pictures of the engines of old farm equipment,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.

After an investigation, deputies determined that the farm equipment “was not antique” and the man had “far more methamphetamine than camera equipment.”

The man needed medical attention but is expected to make a full recovery, the sheriff’s office said. He was not arrested, but the sheriff’s office said he will be charged with trespassing and drug possession, as well as violations of a probation case.

“Lucky for this guy the citizen called in to report his vehicle,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook. “Otherwise, this story ends with a far more tragic outcome. Instead, he should make a full recovery and hopefully be wiser for the experience.”


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