Climber gets stranded, air rescued on cliffs near San Francisco; video

On Monday afternoon, an unidentified man was hiking along the beach near Mori Point in Pacifica, California, when he decided to try his hand at unsupported rock climbing. It was during a driving rainstorm, and the man had to be rescued in dramatic fashion halfway up a rock face by helicopter:

The daring rescue took place at around 3:40 p.m. on Monday and was performed by California Highway Patrol (CHP)’s Golden Gate Air Operations Division who were assisted by the North County Fire District. Per a press release from the CHP, the man was about 75 feet up a nearly 400-foot cliff when he got stuck.

“He was on the beach and decided it would be a good idea to rock climb. He made it maybe a quarter of the way to the top and got stuck,” Officer Shaun Bouyea of the CHP told GrindTV. “His intention was to make it to the top, without any rappelling equipment and no trail. It wasn’t advisable in heavy rain and wind to do that.”

According to Bouyea, not only did the 25-year-old man from San Jose, California, put himself at risk by attempting to rock climb in the middle of a storm, but he put the rescuers at risk as well.

mori point climbing air rescue
The steep cliffs of Mori Point. Photo: Courtesy of Michael Fraley/Flickr

“That’s the most technical rescue you’ll ever see,” Bouyea told GrindTV. “A party on the side of a cliff not attached to any rescue equipment; it doesn’t get any more dangerous than that.”

Bouyea’s advice for any hikers and climbers looking to avoid finding themselves in a similar situation: Use common sense.

“Don’t attempt something above your ability,” Bouyea said. “Make sure you’re properly prepared with equipment and ability to attempt whatever hike or climb you’re doing. A little common sense also helps, because if he had slipped he would have fallen into the ocean, and that would have been catastrophic.”

Pacifica is about 10 miles south of San Francisco. A spokesperson with the Pacifica Police Department told GrindTV that the man who was rescued received a citation for his actions.

Read more about dramatic climbing rescues

Rock climbing proposal ends in police rescue

POV video of an airlift rescue from a gondola