Monday, July 30, 2012

Night Cliff Rescue of Two Truck Driver From Bail Bondsman In Malibu

A late night call Friday to a tow company to retrieve a motorcycle over a cliff on Mulholland Hwy in Malibu resulted in a Sheriff's cliffside rescue of the tow truck driver. The 2 1/2 hour rescue was the 75th rescue handled by the Malibu Search and Rescue Team of the Angeles County Sheriff’s Department so far in 2012. At 9:30PM, the Malibu Search and Rescue (SAR) Team of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department arrived at the site about a mile north of Pacific Coast Highway. They were called to the site to rescue a man who was clinging to the side of a cliff in the dark. He had gone down over the side of a cliff to retrieve a motorcycle that had been involved in an accident hours before. In the earlier accident, a motorcycle rider had been thrown about 20-30 feet over the cliff but was able to make it to the top of Mulholland Hwy before rescuers arrived on scene. His motorcycle however was not so lucky, sliding hundreds of feet down the cliffside. Two men from a tow company arrived later to retrieve the motorcycle in the dark. One of the men carried a cable over the cliff towards the motorcycle. When he was about 200 feet over the side he slipped on the unstable ground and slid freely past the motorcycle about another 50 feet. Having lost hold of his cable and desperately hanging on to the soft dirt and bushes, the 36-year old Newbury Park resident needed to be secured by Sheriff’s Malibu SAR personnel into a harness and safely raised up the precarious cliff. The area is quite dark at night and even with the Sheriff's floodlights to illuminate the area it is still difficult to see (photos). “It was a good thing we reached the man when we did," said Sheriff’s Malibu Search and Rescue Team Public Information Officer, Reserve Sergeant David Katz. "While he was tired and unharmed, our first rescuer to reach him reported that the man was clinging to the side of the cliff so tightly that the rescuer had difficulty wrapping the man in the rescue harness." Katz went on to say “it turned out that the extreme darkness masked the sheer cliff just below the stranded man. With large rocks and boulders below, the man was very lucky to have not slid further or the result could have been tragic." The LASD Malibu Search and Rescue Team has responded to 75 rescues in the Santa Monica Mountains and nearby beaches in 2012, an increase from 68 by this time last year. 30 volunteers, including reserve sheriff's deputies, nurses and other civilians responded to 128 call-outs in 2011, which was an all-time high. Search and Rescue Team members are reserve sheriff’s deputies who volunteer their time to help others for $1 a year, and who partner with sheriff’s civilian volunteers who volunteer for free. There are over 150 members of the eight Search and Rescue teams of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. These rescuers were activated for over 450 search and rescue missions last year, making it one of the most active counties for search and rescue missions in the nation. Reserve deputies and civilian volunteers are supervised by full-time sheriff’s deputies.

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