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California Highway Patrol Rescue Helicopter

Responders were attempting to rescue a victim who fell 100 feet down an oceanside cliff

The rescue hoist of a man who fell 100 feet down a cliff in Pacifica, California was aborted due to drone interference.

According to the Los Angeles Times, first responders were initially unable to reach the man who fell down the cliff.

The California Highway Patrol dispatched a helicopter to the scene. They lowered a paramedic down to the victim and were ready to hoist the two up when a drone was spotted.

“Once the helicopter crew found out there was a drone on scene, they had to suspend the rescue operation and gain altitude to avoid a collision,” police said. “The drone’s operation could cause the helicopter to crash.”

North County Fire Authorities then rappelled down the cliff, secured the victim in a basket and hoisted him up. Officials said the rescue took two hours.

Police cited Gerald Destremps, 55, with a misdemeanor charge of impending first responders at the scene of an emergency. Destremps admitted to operating the drone and handed it over to officers who requested to confiscate it.

The Federal Aviation Administration and public agencies continue to urge the public to follow laws and regulations when using drones.

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Troy Shaffer
Troy Shaffer

About the Author: Troy is an Air Medical Career Expert passionate about a team approach to improving air medical safety from the ground up. Troy is a former Army medic, Army pilot, Coast Guard pilot and EMS pilot. Troy has taught hundreds of wannabe flight medics, flight nurses and EMS pilots the exact steps needed to launch air medical careers.

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