California Man Survives 100-Foot Fall After Cliff Collapses

by Suzanne Halliburton

A California man is lucky to be alive after a cliff collapse caused him to fall 100 feet to the beach below. He was taking a sunrise stroll when the ground gave way.

Cal Fire based out of the San Mateo/Santa Cruz tweeted about the incident. The unit then shared a video of the rescue on social media. The ending was a happy one. This California cliff collapse, which is becoming a big problem in the state, could have been far worse.

Cal Fire tweeted Friday: “CLIFF RESCUE: The cliff crumbled beneath a man who was walking at dawn in Moss Beach. He fell est. 100 feet & yelled for help. At 8:30am a woman nearby heard his calls. Coastside Fire pulled him to safety within 22 minutes of their arrival. Avoid cliff edges as they are unstable.”

California Rescuers Used Ropes, Pulleys to Get Man Back Up the Cliff

From the video, we can glean that it took a team of rescuers using ropes and pulleys to bring the man up the cliff. Down below, another firefighter was helping the man climb back to safety. The man, who wasn’t identified, was able to walk under his own power. However, he’d lost one of his shoes in the fall.

These sort of cliff collapses are getting too frequent in California. In fact, lifeguards are warning beach goers to watch where they walk.

“We see it quite often, if not almost an everyday occurrence,” Sergeant Nick Scoggins told CBS8 back in April. “It can happen extremely quickly, like I said it is unpredictable and it can happen in less than a second.” Scoggins works for Encinitas Fire and Marine Department.

Lifeguards warn to be especially careful when beach goers see a cliff with an “undercut” or “overhang.”

State Did Study Showing Worst Erosion is in Northern California

The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that researchers now know the most dangerous cliffs in California. Researchers at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography conducted the study. The cliffs in the northern part of the states are more unstable than in the south. The report said that four areas in California had cliffs that gave way more than 16 times a year. These cliffs are connected to Palos Verdes Peninsula, Big Sur, Point Arguello and Martins Beach.

Patrick Barnard is the research director for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Climate Impacts and Coastal Processes Team. In an interview with the L.A. Times, he talked of the importance of the study.

“When you start to develop these kinds of datasets that are highly detailed — spatially, and ultimately temporally — we can then learn even more about … how cliffs behave over short time periods. This is what we need to know to be able to support coastal management and reduce hazard risk and get people out of harm’s way.”

Back in 2019, a collapse killed three women from the same family. A multi-ton chunk of sandstone fell onto to the women, who were The family of three women killed last summer when a multi-ton section of sandstone collapsed onto them as they relaxed on Grandview Surf Beach near San Diego.