A paraglider who crashed into a Torrey Pines cliff was brought to safety Tuesday during a harrowing rescue by San Diego lifeguard units.
The crash was reported shortly after 11 a.m. near the Torrey Pines Gliderport by beachgoers, in an area called Hully Gully, according to San Diego Lifeguard Marine Safety Lt. John Sandmeyer.
The male victim smashed into a 330-foot cliff — about halfway up the face — and was stuck, Sandmeyer said.
A San Diego Fire-Rescue helicopter was brought in, but since the man still had his parachute on, crews were concerned the chopper’s blades would become entangled in the blowing chute, Sandmeyer continued.
Instead, a medic and a rescuer scaled down to the man, placed him on a stretcher, and crews above hoisted him up to safety, according to Sandmeyer.
Rescue efforts were difficult given wind conditions and the cliff’s instability, he said, noting the man was in a “hazardous location.” The operation took several hours to complete.
The victim sustained minor to moderate injuries and was transported to a nearby hospital.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known.
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