Stranded Kite Surfer Rescued from Cliffside Beach After Using Rocks to Spell 'Help'

“That was a different type of 911 call than we usually get," said a fire official who helped with the rescue

<p>CAL FIRE San Mateo - Santa Cruz Unit</p> Kite surfer rescued after spelling "Help" with rocks on beach

CAL FIRE San Mateo - Santa Cruz Unit

Kite surfer rescued after spelling "Help" with rocks on beach

A man stranded on a beach was rescued after signaling for help with rocks!

The man was kite surfing on Sunday, June 9, when he became stranded on a cliffside beach south of Davenport Landing in California, according to a post shared by the San Mateo-Santa Cruz unit California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

Footage of the incident captured by Cal Fire personnel showed that the beach was located at the base of a long, steep cliff.

The department went on to note that he area “is somewhat remote" and “the tide was also coming in.”

After using rocks on the beach to spell out "HELP," the windsurfer — and his message — grabbed the attention of a private helicopter flying overhead.

Shortly after, someone on the helicopter called for help — and the man was ecstatic that his signal was effective. “He felt very lucky when he first saw the helicopter, he gave them a thumbs up,” Fire Captain Skylar Merritt, who assisted with the rescue, told the Los Angeles Times.

“That was a different type of 911 call than we usually get,” Merritt added -- and thanks to the fact that he was spotted only a few hours after getting stranded, he "didn't have to worry about hypothermia or dehydration."

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Clips of the recovery operation showed a first responder being lowered down from the CAL FIRE vehicle to the surfer, who stood with another first responder just feet away from his “HELP” message. Then, all three were lifted up, hanging from a rope attached to the helicopter, and placed atop the cliff.

The surfer was uninjured and did not need medical attention.

As for what actually landed the man, an experienced windsurfer, on the beach in the first place, Merritt told the Los Angeles Times that it was a combination of “decent size surf” and a “wind shadow,” a condition that occurs when high bluffs block the ocean from the wind, making it harder for kite surfers to control their boards.

Merritt added, "t can be a hard area to predict what the conditions are, with conditions changing very, very fast."

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