US Navy

Sailor Looking at Bioluminescence Gets Swept Out, Rescued at Sunset Cliffs: SDFD

San Diego-Fire Rescue Department Battalion Chief Kerry-Shannon Grieser used the rescue as a warning to others

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A U.S. Navy sailor, just getting out of quarantine, was rescued from Sunset Cliffs Sunday morning after being hit by a wave while watching the bioluminescence, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

SDFD said the man got too close to the water at around 12:39 a.m. and was pulled out to the ocean by a crashing wave. He managed to swim to a rock approximately 30 feet beneath the cliff’s edge, but could not self-extricate.

SDFD and San Diego Lifeguards were able to rescue him using a board to float him in. From there, he was able to walk to the street level. He suffered some scrapes and abrasions, according to Battalion Chief, Kerry-Shannon Grieser.

Grieser said the sailor was “just getting off of quarantine.” SDFD was unable to answer further questions about the details of the quarantine or if the man had been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Grieser used the rescue as a warning to people who are visiting Sunset Cliffs at night to view the water’s glowing phenomenon.

“When people are coming to the cliff’s edge to enjoy the bioluminescence, our cliffs are quite unstable,” said Grieser, “And especially in the dark. It’s very easy to fall down the cliffs or get too close to the water and have a wave take you out and not be able to get back up.”

Earlier this week in a press conference with Mayor Kevin Faulconer, San Diego Police Department Chief David Nisleit said they would have extra patrol units at Sunset Cliffs through the weekend as it continues to see large crowds.

“We are still seeing quite a few people come down right at sunset and after to watch the red tide," Nisleit said. “I understand it is a great thing to see, but we are inundating the area of Sunset Cliffs and we’re not being able to do that physical distancing.”

SDPD reinforced the message on their Twitter page.

Sunset Cliffs has been reopened as part of the City of San Diego’s Phase 1 limited access plan. This means only walking and running are permitted along the cliffs- no stopping, sitting, or lying down.

All parking lots remain closed in the area.

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