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Sailor fresh out of COVID-19 quarantine rescued by lifeguards after fall off cliff

San Diego police (Tomás Del Coro/WikiCommons)

A Navy man was rescued by lifeguards early Sunday after being swept into the ocean while watching the bioluminescence at Sunset Cliffs, fire officials said.

The sailor had just gotten out of a COVID-19 quarantine.

San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Carrie Grieser said the man was standing on a rock when a wave knocked him over about 12:30 a.m. He managed to swim to a rock under the cliff, but he wasn’t able to get back to shore.

The man’s friend called 911. Since the surf was small, lifeguards on a paddleboard were able to reach him and get him to safety. The man suffered some scrapes but was otherwise unharmed.

“Our cliffs are quite unstable, and, especially in the dark, it’s very easy to have a fall down the cliffs or to get too close to the water and have a wave take you out and not be able to get back up,” Grieser told an OnScene TV reporter. “It’s just something to think about when you come and enjoy our coastline.”

Last week, San Diego police Chief David Nisleit noted that too many people had been gathering at Sunset Cliffs to watch the bioluminescence and asked individuals not to loiter.


© 2020 The San Diego Union-Tribune