Don’t Let Go: Hiker Rescued from Cliffside with Moments to Spare

( – A man was rescued by helicopter from the side of a cliff in Northern California after he fell off a trail while hiking at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office released a video showing the dramatic rescue. According to a Facebook post from the sheriff’s office, the man fell while hiking a trail and ended up dangling from a cliff just above the San Francisco Bay’s rising tide. Southern Marin Fire District battalion chief Jason Golden said the man hung “about 40 feet off the water line.” He reportedly fell about 50 feet from the trail.

Around 7:40 PM, the Southern Marin Fire District called in for a helicopter, which used thermal imaging to locate the man’s exact location. The video shows the rescuer being lowered to the hiker who is desperately clinging to the side of the cliff. After landing, the officer instructs the man not to let go as he proceeds to place a harness around him and guides him through the process of securing it before quickly signally the helicopter to lift them off of the cliffside.

The helicopter, Henry-1, lifted the men to the top of the cliff where they were greeted by paramedics and the fire department, who examined the hiker. Golden said the rescuer described the mission as “one of the most precarious rescues” he has ever conducted due to how the hiker was gripping the cliff and “how quickly they were letting go.”

Golden advised other hikers to be cautious when traversing the Batter Alexander Trail, which is next to the ocean and tends to be more active during the spring when the weather warms up. The trail consists of various cliffs. Golden advised hikers to be “very careful” around the cliffs and to avoid going “close to the edge” and told people not to try and climb there.

According to Golden, at least 1 or 2 people fall off the cliffs annually. The hiker only suffered minor injuries and is now in stable condition.

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