As long as there are dangerous and intriguing locales in this world, there will be daredevils game to try conquering them.
And when those daredevils fail along certain sections of the California coast, there’s the California Highway Patrol Golden Gate Division Air Operations to rescue them.
On Thursday, a helicopter with the CHP was called in to rescue a man who’d gotten stuck along a sheer cliff face along the ocean, known as Mussel Rock.
“Mussel Rock is a rock formation on the coast of San Mateo County, California, offshore from Daly City,” the Facebook page for the local attraction reads.
“It consists of one large and numerous smaller rocks of a type known as a stack, where a headland is eroded unevenly, leaving small islands. It is best known for being the closest point to the epicenter of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and where the San Andreas Fault enters the San Francisco Peninsula from the northwest. An additional minor fault, the Mussel Rock Fault, was identified in 2000.
“The area above Mussel Rock consists of steep cliffs with frequent landslides, threatening homes in a subdivision above.”
And apparently, that danger is alluring to certain people, including the man who found himself trapped on Thursday afternoon.
“A local fisherman called in and reported a male victim clinging to a vertical cliff wall, approximately half way down a 500 foot cliff,” the CHP – Golden Gate Division Air Operations posted on Facebook. “Due to his location ground rescuers were unable to locate him.
“CHP Helicopter H-30 arrived overhead and located the victim. Due to his location, it was determined that a helicopter rescue would be the safest and most efficient way to remove the victim from the cliff face.
“Despite challenging winds, the CHP Pilot maneuvered H-30 100 feet over the scene while a CHP Officer/Paramedic simultaneously hoisted a second CHP Officer/Paramedic down to the victim.”
Once the officer/paramedic reached the man, who wasn’t dressed for rock climbing and was quite exposed to the elements in his swim trunks and bare feet, a harness was placed around him.
The air operations stated that after being placed on solid ground, the man was taken by Daly City Fire and AMR personnel. No injuries were reported, according to Fox News.
The video of the rescue has impressed many, and many of those people have commented, wondering aloud what in the world the man was doing on the cliff.
“[H]appens almost every day,” the air operations account wrote in response to one such query. “Someone climbs up a cliff in our area either to take a short cut, get a better view or bc the tide caught them.”
Some said they hoped the man got a good dressing-down for his behavior; others said they hoped he was fined — but imposing fines on people for risky decisions like this one often lead to those risk-takers refusing to ask for help and getting themselves into even worse predicaments.
“Often if people are able, they make a donation or do a fund raiser to help offset costs….but in the end this service is available for those who need it,” one woman commented.
Fine or not, it’s a blessing that this service is available and that there are brave rescuers ready and willing to put their lives on the line to help others — no matter how foolish those victims may seem.