Man trapped in cliff cave in San Diego rescued after days

SAN DIEGO, CA – A man who found himself trapped waist-deep in a crevasse on a San Diego cliff was rescued on Friday morning in a dramatic operation. The man, whose identity remains undisclosed, was stuck in a hole measuring between 12 and 18 inches. After a strenuous operation that had to be suspended overnight due to rising tides, he was finally airlifted to safety.

The rescue mission began on Thursday afternoon when two teenagers walking by the cliffside near Orchard Street and Cable Street heard cries for help. They promptly dialed 911, and the San Diego Fire Department (SDFD) responded. The SDFD’s technical rescue team and the Chula Vista Fire Department’s Trench Rescue Technicians worked tirelessly to free the man, but the rising tide forced them to halt their efforts.

To ensure the man’s survival through the night, rescuers provided him with electrolytes, hot packs, and blankets. A specialized team of volunteer rescuers from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, experts in cave rescues, arrived at the scene around 4:40 a.m. the next day.

Despite appearing uninjured, the man’s extraction was complicated by the narrowness of the crevasse. Unpredictable weather, including intermittent rain, gusty winds, and bursts of lightning and thunder, added to the challenges faced by the rescue crews. The operation resumed at 9 a.m. and took an additional two hours to successfully extract the man.

Once freed, the man was airlifted from the scene in a Stokes basket, his right ankle bandaged. He was subsequently transferred to a stretcher and transported to a hospital via ambulance. According to Dan Eddy, the SDFD’s deputy chief of operations, drowning was a major concern during the operation. The SDFD has yet to determine how the man ended up in the crevasse or the exact duration of his entrapment.