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Authorities rescue man who spent 2 days stuck inside giant farm fan at California vineyard

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This photo provided by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office shows a fan at a vineyard in Santa Rosa, Calif. where a man was found Tuesday, June 8, 2021 by a sheriff’s deputy responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle parked in the area. Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office via AP

  • A man “inexplicably” decided to climb into a piece of farm equipment in Sonoma County earlier this week.

  • Authorities rescued the man after he spent two days stuck in the vineyard fan.

  • Officials discovered meth on the man, who said he was at the scene because he likes to photograph old farm equipment.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A Sonoma Sheriff’s deputy got an unexpected surprise when he responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint earlier this week.

The unsuspecting officer found a man stuck inside the shaft of a vineyard fan, after he “inexplicably” decided to climb into the piece of farm equipment, according to a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office statement.

Fire officials rescued the man, who said he had been lodged in the machinery for two days before authorities discovered him.

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Officials in Northern California rescued the man who said he had been trapped inside a large fan at a vineyard for two days. Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office via AP

The large fans are common on vineyards and are used to keep grapes from freezing during the winter months by circulating air across the vines.

On Tuesday morning, the Sheriff’s Office received a complaint of a suspicious vehicle parked on private property, the statement said. When the responding deputy arrived at the scene, he located the vehicle, but no occupant. On a nearby piece of farm equipment, the deputy spotted a hat, officials said.

Upon further investigation, the deputy discovered the man, who later told officials he liked to photograph engines of old farm equipment.

“After a thorough investigation which revealed the farm equipment wasn’t antique and the man had far more methamphetamine than camera equipment, the motivation to climb into the fan shaft remains a total mystery,” the statement said.

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Officials in Northern California rescued the man who said he had been trapped inside a large fan at a vineyard for two days. Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office via AP

Authorities did not arrest the man, who needed medical treatment after multiple days in the fan, but the Sheriff’s Office said it will recommend charges of trespassing, drug possession, and violations of both his probation and a pending case, for which he is out on custody.

Officials said the man is expected to make a full recovery and will “hopefully be wiser for the experience.”

“Lucky for this guy the citizen called in to report his vehicle, otherwise this story ends with a far more tragic outcome,” the statement said.

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