Helicopter rescue saves teens on seacliff

Two male teens were rescued Friday evening from a 75-foot cliff in the Golden Gate Recreation Area in Marin County by a cinch collar line lowered from a helicopter operated by the California Highway Patrol, a CHP officer said.

At about 6:30 p.m. Friday, the Southern Marin Fire Department contacted the CHP to send a helicopter from the Napa County Airport to help rescue two juveniles trapped on the side of a cliff over Rodeo Beach in the recreation area, Officer Al Romero said.

The teenaged boys had apparently climbed the face of the cliff and then “felt if they moved anymore, they were going to fall,” Romero said.

The CHP’S Napa office sent an H-30 helicopter to the area, north of the Point Bonita Lighthouse, and the crew found the boys about 75 feet above the beach, clinging to the face of the cliff, the CHP said.

The boys, wearing only beachwear and no shoes, were unable to get off the cliff and were at a location that was too steep and not close to a roadway for a high-angle rope rescue, the CHP reported.

With directions provided by the Fire Department, the crew of the helicopter dangled a line with a cinch rescue collar down to the boys and lowered each of them to the beach.

“They just put up their arms around it and it cinched to them,” said Romero, who was a member of the flight crew. “We lowered them one at a time.”

A deputy of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office was on the beach to greet the boys and take their statements, Romero said.

Both of the teens were also reunited with their families. Neither was injured.

As helicopter rescues using a harness go, this operation “wasn’t one of the tense ones,” compared to having to lower the rescue collar through trees, Romero said. “It was a pretty open area.”