San Diego

Paraglider Rescued After Crash on Cliffs Below Torrey Pines Golf Course

Rescue crews responded to a downed paraglider who crashed near a golf course in Torrey Pines Monday afternoon.

The 41-year-old man's parasail malfunctioned and sent him spiraling into thick vegetation halfway down the cliffside, according to San Diego Lifeguards.

Crews with San Diego Fire-Rescue responded to the scene off North Torrey Pines Road just before 2:30 p.m.

SkyRanger 7 flew overhead and saw first responders park multiple vehicles next to the fairway on the fourth hole at Torrey Pines Golf Course.

An emergency helicopter crew lowered a team of medics down to the cliff and hoisted the victim back up. The helicopter landed on the golf course and the victim was transported to an ambulance.

Witness Christopher Borges said he was watching the paragliders from the beach when all of a sudden, the glider's parachute "crumbled."

Borges estimated the man fell about 20 feet.

“I didn’t think it was a big enough fall for him to die," he said.

Within minutes of the crash, all other paragliders were grounded and a crowd had formed on the beach, Borges said.

“Everybody was just staring and recording. Everybody was pretty much helpless. Nobody could do anything," he said.

San Diego Lifeguards said the man was from Arizona.

The extent of the victim's injuries are unknown at this time.

A flight director at the San Diego Gliderport said the crash was likely the pilot's own fault.

"100 percent of the injuries that occur out here are pilot error, so if he had an equipment malfunction, my guttural reactions is that he had a preflight inspection," he said.

No other information was available.

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