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Helicopter Swoops In To Rescue Hiker Hanging From Cliff, “Don’t Let Go Man”

Thermal imaging of a man hanging onto the side of a cliff.

The Battery Alexander trail in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area offers hikers beautiful views. But trails like this one can also be dangerous, particularly when near the edge of the cliffs. While near this very trail in the San Francisco Bay Area, a man almost fell to his death. Instead, he managed to latch onto the cliff, prompting an urgent rescue mission to take place.

In order to spot the man, who had fallen around 50 or 60 feet, thermal imaging was used from the Henry-1 helicopter. With the man barely able to hold on, time was of the essence. Luckily, a Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) swiftly reached him. From here, the officer helped the man put on a harness so the helicopter could take them both to safety.

Video footage of this harrowing rescue has been shared on the Sonoma Sheriff’s Facebook page. In it, we get a better understanding of just how fatal this situation could have been for the hiker. We also see how difficult it is to successfully rescue someone in this situation.

“The victim was about 40 feet off the water line,” Battalion Chief Jason Golden says. “The tide was coming up and he was stuck on the cliff.”

Harrowing Cliff Rescue in San Francisco Gets a Happy Ending

This rescue was intense but, thankfully, it has as a happy ending. Once the hiker was secured into the harness, he was flown to a nearby mountain top. Here, fire personnel medically examined the man. Needless to say, the rescuers are being praised for their life-saving work.

“He must [have] been terrified,” someone writes in the comments. “the officers calming voice was reassuring.”

“Kudos for another life threatening rescue!” another shares. “You provide an amazing service for our community and we’re so grateful for everything you do to make sure we’re safe.”

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here!

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