Victim of fatal Mendocino Coast fall was Montana man

A Montana man was identified as the person who died Monday after falling from a steep cliff above the ocean north of Fort Bragg.

Trevor Justin Wade, 35, of Missoula was staying with friends at a nearby vacation rental for a celebration. On Monday morning, they were near the bluff’s edge when Wade lost his balance about 10:30 a.m. and fell some 200 feet into the ocean, Mendocino County sheriff’s Capt. Greg Van Patten said Tuesday.

Firefighters were called to a possible coast rescue but arrived after Wade had died, said Fort Bragg Fire Chief Steve Orsi.

He fell from bluffs north of Seaside beach, which rise dramatically from the rolling dunes of nearby Ten Mile beach. There was no obvious access to the water except down the cliff or by sea, and firefighters initially asked for the Sonoma County’s sheriff’s helicopter, Orsi said. But the helicopter already was in use for a possible Marin County rescue, and other public agency helicopters don’t respond to body recovery calls.

Two firefighters rappelled down while two others went into the water from another area. The four loaded the man’s body into a litter basket and it was slowly raised with ropes to the top, Orsi said.

Wade’s family was notified Tuesday afternoon, Van Patten said.

-Randi Rossmann

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