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Video: San Francisco FFs rescue man from wave-whipped rocks near Golden Gate Bridge

The department used thermal imaging to locate a heat signature on the cliff and a helicopter shining light on the rescue swimmers during the rescue


By Amy Graff
SFGate, San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Fire Department posted a dramatic video Wednesday morning of firefighters braving tumultuous waters to rescue a man trapped on the wave-whipped rocks of a cliffside in the Presidio near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Lt. Jonathan Baxter said the department first received a 911 call about the incident at 1:30 a.m. and initial reports indicated that three people were on the cliff in the waters off Crosby Battery. The department later determined only one man was missing and trapped on the cliffside.

Baxter told KPIX that hikers called in the incident after hearing yells for help down below them on the trail.

The department used thermal imaging to locate a heat signature on the cliff. A helicopter flew overhead to shine light on the rescue swimmers who pulled the man off the rocks and then carried him on a board over to a boat where paramedics assessed him.

Baxter called the incident a surf and cliff rescue. “A very technical, detailed rescue by your San Francisco Fire Department,” Baxter said in the video posted on Twitter. “You just saw the actual rescue live here.”

The victim was taken to a hospital and is recovering. His condition was not immediately known.


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