Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter rescues two fallen hikers, naked man

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The Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter crew made three trips into Marin County in recent days, two for rescues of fallen hikers at the same rocky area near Stinson Beach and one night flight for a naked man trapped on rocks near the base of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The night call south came about 10:30 p.m. Saturday taking the helicopter to the Marin Headlands for a man near the water on rocks west of the bridge’s north tower, sheriff’s helicopter Sgt. Henri Boustany said Tuesday.

“The crew had no idea how he got down there or how he summoned help,” Boustany said. “He had no clothes on.”

Due to the serious situation, Marin County authorities called for the helicopter as a faster route to rescue the man rather than having firefighters make their way down to him and physically get him up to safety.

“And if he’d fallen further down the rocks or into the water, he probably would have died,” Boustany said.

The crew snagged the man and got him to safety, and they were back at the hanger at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport within an hour.

It was the second trip to Marin County that day. About 5:30 p.m. Saturday, the helicopter was called to rescue a hiker near Red Rock Beach, a clothing-optional beach south of Stinson Beach in Mount Tamalpais State Park. The woman had fallen quite a way and landed between large boulders.

She was being treated by state park lifeguards when the helicopter arrived to get her out of the precarious spot. The woman, believed to be in her 30s and from San Francisco, was wedged in a spot that made getting her back to safety tricky, Boustany said.

The crew set up the long rescue line, and when she was treated medically and secured so that she could be moved safely, she was lifted out of the rocks and flown to a nearby beach where a CHP helicopter waited to take her to a hospital.

Saturday’s afternoon call to Red Rock Beach was the second call there in four days for someone who had fallen into rocks. On Aug. 28, the crew responded to a 1:50 p.m. call for help for a missing hiker authorities suspected had fallen. The crew made the 20-minute flight from Sonoma County to the Stinson Beach area and spotted the injured man, stuck on rocks south of the beach.

The uneven rocks made for a tricky landing, and the pilot set one landing skid down near the man, allowing a rescue paramedic to jump out and start medical aid. The long line then was connected and used to lift the two off the rocks, where the man was carried to an ambulance waiting in a Stinson Beach parking lot.

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