CAUGHT ON CAM: Man hanging on side of cliff rescued by flight crews

Published: May. 22, 2022 at 7:59 PM EDT
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DALY CITY, Calif. (KGO) – A California Highway Patrol helicopter crew put themselves at risk, battling high winds to rescue a man hanging off of a cliff over the Pacific Ocean.

The jaw-dropping moment was caught on camera.

Pilot Brent Marker said the man was located midway down the steep cliff.

“We had to do a short search because we weren’t sure where he was on the cliff. Nobody could see him,” he said.

A photo taken of the man shows why he was so tough to spot.

“He was in a very precarious spot, about 500 feet probably off the water, and that’s about a 900-foot cliff,” Marker said.

Marker said weather conditions were working against this mission.

“We were battling some extreme winds, 30- to 40-knot winds,” he said.

Flight officer and paramedic David Arias was lowered from the chopper on a tether. He recorded the rescue with a GoPro on his helmet.

He can be seen making contact with the cliff in the video.

At first, the man grabs onto Arias’ legs.

“He actually grabbed onto me, which is a very dangerous thing he did, if I were to have swung away from him, he could have potentially fallen off the cliff,” Arias said.

Seconds later, they met success.

“I told him to kind of stay put on the cliff, then he was able to get into harness and help me out,” Arias said.

The man was lifted off the cliff to safety and was soon put back on solid ground.

“Miraculously, he had only scrapes and bruises, that’s about it,” Arias said.

The man was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but not before thanking the flight crew for their help.

“Yeah, he was pretty grateful to see us, and he was ready to get off the cliff for sure,” Arias said.

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