An 18-year-old was rescued by officials Tuesday night after falling 75 to 90 feet off a La Jolla cliff to the rocky shoreline below just as the tide was coming up, San Diego fire officials said.
The young man was hanging out with other teens at the cliff’s edge near Coast Boulevard just before 11 p.m. when he somehow lost his footing and plunged down the cliff face, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) Battalion Chief David Gerboth said.
The teen sustained major, life-threatening head injuries, Gerboth said, and was airlifted by helicopter from the scene to Scripps Memorial Hospital.
Gerboth said the victim landed on rocks at the bottom of the cliff right as the tide line was hitting shore, adding another level of danger to the rescue operation.
“It was imperative that he be extricated quickly. That’s why we used a helicopter – with the tide coming up – to make sure that he was out of there for his own injuries and so the tide didn’t impact him and the rescuers,” the battalion chief explained.
The victim’s current condition was unknown as of Wednesday morning.