Two San Diego Seals lacrosse players were rescued Thursday from Ocean Beach after jumping off Sunset Cliffs, the team confirmed to NBC 7.
The yet-to-be-identified players were the two men in their 20s who jumped from the Arches around 10:45 a.m., San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.
The Seals spokeswoman confirmed to NBC 7 the men were their players but did not identify them.
"Due to high surf conditions, the players were helped back to shore by city lifeguards," the team said in a statement. "We have been staying in close touch with our players and are relieved to report that everyone is safe."
The Arches is a popular cliff jumping spot on Sunset Cliffs despite it being illegal.
“No sooner did they hit the water, and swells and water and washing machine and they were doing Ok for maybe 30-40 seconds,” Jim Grant said. “After that, they were done.”
He was at the cliffs taking photos and witnessed the entire thing. Grant said one the men were struggling hard against the swells in the alcove.
“He looked just like a bowling ball, just being pushed in the water and rolled into the rocks,” he said.
The man made it onto a rock ledge in the alcove and firefighters had to do a cliff rescue to get the man to safety, Munoz said.
The other man was washed out of the alcove and pushed against the cliffs, Grant said. Lifeguards dove in and pulled the man onto a jet ski, which then took him to a rescue boat that then transported to lifeguards headquarters in Ocean Beach, lifeguard Sgt. Rick Strobel said.
"This rescue exemplifies how dangerous (cliff jumping) can be," he said.
Cliff jumping is dangerous under normal circumstances but it’s more so when the waves are as high as they were Thursday. The National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory for San Diego that was expected to expire at 10 p.m. During a high surf advisory, there are strong rip currents and dangerous swimming conditions, the NWS said.
“I can honestly say I've never seen anybody jumped off in these kinds of condition,” Grant said. “I was flabbergasted as I stood there with my camera and looked at these guys.”
None of the men sustain any injuries, save for minor scrapes, Munoz said.
The Seals home opener is Saturday at Pechanga Arena San Diego.