Man winched to safety from raging water in dramatic helicopter rescue as cars drive by

Firefighters have successfully battled through a dramatic rescue mission to lift a man from fast moving waters in the Los Angeles River.

The man was spotted in the river clinging on to a tree on Thursday morning, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department alert.

Footage revealed the moment a helicopter crew from the Los Angeles Fire Department rescued the man, hoisting him up to safety right next to busy traffic.

A California Highway Patrol officer and an LA park ranger kept their eyes on the man from the shore while LAFD ground and air units responded, including swift-water rescue teams.

The man was rescued from the Los Angeles river. Credit: KTLA

The rescuer eventually made contact with the man in the river and the two were hoisted up together to the LAFD helicopter.

The patient was conscious and alert, but was suffering from hypothermia, according to the fire department.

He was taken to a local hospital and was reported to be in fair condition.

Authorities said it was unclear how the man got trapped or near the river at the time.

The rescue came as a major storm system brought bands of rain across Southern California.