Man trapped in 500-foot cliff, heart-stopping moment rescued by helicopter

The heart-stopping video captured a man being rescued by a helicopter from a 500-foot cliff amid dangerous high winds in California.

A rescue operation began on Thursday when California Highway Patrol (CHP) Golden Gate Division Air Operations reported that a local fisherman had seen a man stranded on mussel rocks.

The coastal formation is about eight miles south of downtown San Francisco and has a nearly vertical cliff face 500 feet. The man was half-caught, the agency said.

An H-30 helicopter was called to rescue the man, and rescue officials said it was the safest option given his location. Wind speed was high throughout the rescue.

“We had to do a short search,” said pilot Brent Marker. ABC7. “We weren’t sure where he was on the cliff where we couldn’t see him.”

He was eventually located, and a video released by CHP showed a man in only swimming shorts holding onto a rock.

Panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the California coastline were also visible from clips recorded by a camera attached to a CHP officer’s helmet.

A police officer was seen descending from the helicopter to the man’s height and tying him to a harness. The man and the CHP officer fell off a cliff and were safely transported to a nearby landing site, authorities said. After that, firefighters took over his care.

No injuries were reported and it was unclear how the man got trapped on the cliff or how long he had been there.

CHP’s Golden Gate Air Operations Unit is based at Napa County Airport and patrols nine Bay Area counties.

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