“Don't let go” – dramatic helicopter rescue footage shows barefoot California hiker clinging to cliff

Dramatic helicopter rescue footage shows California hiker dangling from cliff
(Image credit: Sonoma Sheriff / Facebook)

Nail-biting helicopter rescue footage shows a hiker clinging to a cliff after having fallen nearly 60 feet from a trail near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.

“The subject was approximately 50-60 feet down from the trail and was clinging to the gravel rock face,” revealed a post on the Official Sonoma County Sheriff Facebook page.

"The victim was about 40 feet off the water line," Battalion Chief Jason Golden later told station KGO-TV. "The tide was coming up and he was stuck on the cliff."

Firefighters in Marin County contacted the sheriff’s department on Sunday at around 7:40pm local time to alert them that a barefooted man has been spotted dangling from the cliff. He’d been hiking the Battery Alexander Trailhead within the Golden Gate Recreation Area when he apparently slipped and fell down the cliffside.

As can be seen at the start of the footage, thermal imaging from the department's Henry-1 helicopter helped to locate the man. 

"Hey, don’t let go, man!” a tactical flight officer (TFO) yells to the hiker, who as yet remains unnamed. “Don’t let go, OK?" 

After slipping the harness around the man’s body, his rescuer tells him, “I got you, brother.”

He was then hoisted to safety on top of the cliff, where fire personnel medically examined him. No details have been issued regarding his condition.

The fire department warned on a Facebook post that the landscape can be extremely dangerous and urged hikers to take caution near the edges of the cliffs.