A surfer had to be rescued by helicopter near Sunset Cliffs Monday after he got stranded two miles from where he went into the water.
“He was a little shaken but he was doing well,” said Lt. John Sandleyer of San Diego Lifeguards. “He seemed like he had good experience and that always pays off when confronted by a situation like that.”
The surfer entered the water just south of the Ladera Street public stairs to the beach where there were eight to ten foot waves and strong rip currents.
Rescuers did not identify the surfer but said he was a little scratched up and cold but not seriously injured.
He told lifeguards that he was preparing to spend the night on the cliffs after he became stranded, expecting the search to be called off because of darkness.
He was fortunate the fire department's helicopter was able to spot him then lift him to safety with a short hoist.
The initial report indicated two surfers were missing, because witness Denise Arasin simultaneously called 911 to report losing sight of a second surfer struggling to get back to shore.
Turns out , that surfer made it in safely on his own.
“You need to be a strong swimmer - you know, how to avoid rip currents, how to get out of a rip current by swimming parallel to the beach and basically to have the buddy system to let someone else be with you when you go out,” Arasin explained to NBC7.
The high surf advisory continues through Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. The National Weather Service recommends visitors monitor the beach for safe swimming spots and to avoid hazardous rip currents.