Boy, 14, falls into 40-foot well and clings to pipes and treads water awaiting rescue

Jaylen Byers (right) fell into a well while he was playing with his younger brother (Pictures: Gaffney City Fire Department/WSPA)

A 14-year-old boy playing with his younger brother fell into a 40-foot well – and clung to pipes and treaded water until firefighters rescued him.

Jaylen Byers was standing on a concrete slab atop a well when it crumbled beneath his feet.

‘I just fell,’ Jaylen told of the incident on Saturday. ‘While I fell, I just remembered being underwater.’

The teen shared being ‘shocked’ and ‘scared’.

‘I was like, “What’s going on? How did I just fall down here?” I didn’t expect it to be a well,’ Jaylen said. ‘I tried my best to swim back up. I saw a pipe and was hanging on it the whole time.’

Jaylen’s brother ran to his father, who called 911. Firefighters of Gaffney City in South Carolina arrived at 7.57pm to find Jaylen treading water. His mother was horrified.

‘I think that is a parent’s biggest fear – not being able to help their child when they need help,’ Amy Gordon told the TV station. ‘He said, “Momma, my arms and legs are getting tired. I’m scared. Please just hurry.”‘

The rescue crews made voice contact with Jaylen and were able to pull him out in less than 30 minutes after getting to the scene, by lowering a firefighter into the well.

‘They grabbed me,’ Jaylen said. ‘I was holding onto him like it was a hug.’

The teen was airlifted to a hospital and treated overnight. He sustained some bruises and scrapes.

‘I’m a little sore, but I’m grateful to be here living another day,’ Jaylen said.

The Gaffney City Fire Department stated that well fall incidents are uncommon.

‘Our firefighters train often for these scenarios, that are not routine but they do happen,’ the fire department wrote on Facebook. ‘We’re proud of the professionalism showed by our crews.’

Jaylen thanked the people who rescued and cared for him.

‘They helped me a lot,’ he said. ‘I’m grateful for that.’


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