SAN DIEGO, CA – A man who became entrapped in a narrow crevasse along a cliff in San Diego was rescued in a dramatic operation that unfolded on Friday morning. The man, whose identity has not been disclosed, was stuck waist-deep in a hole that measured between 12 to 18 inches. After an operation that spanned several hours and had to be suspended overnight due to a rising tide, he was finally airlifted to safety.
The rescue mission was initiated on Thursday afternoon when two teenagers, who were passing by the cliffside near Orchard Street and Cable Street, heard the man’s cries for help. They quickly called 911, and the San Diego Fire Department (SDFD) responded to the emergency. The SDFD’s technical rescue team, alongside the Chula Vista Fire Department’s Trench Rescue Technicians, worked tirelessly to free the man, but rising tides forced a temporary halt in the operation.
To help the man survive the cold night, rescuers provided him with electrolytes, hot packs, and blankets. A specialized team of volunteer rescuers from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, known for their expertise in cave rescues, arrived at the scene around 4:40 a.m. the following day.
Although the man appeared uninjured, the narrow confines of the crevasse made his extraction a challenging task. The rescue operation was further complicated by unpredictable weather conditions, including intermittent rain, gusty winds, and bursts of lightning and thunder. The operation resumed at 9 a.m. and took an additional two hours to successfully extract the man.
Upon his rescue, the man was airlifted from the scene in a Stokes basket, his right ankle bandaged. He was then transferred to a stretcher and transported to a hospital via ambulance. According to Dan Eddy, the SDFD’s deputy chief of operations, the risk of drowning was a significant concern during the operation. The circumstances that led to the man’s entrapment and the exact duration of his ordeal remain unknown.