Two people were rescued from the side of a cliff early Sunday near Hoh Head in Olympic National Park, the Coast Guard stated.
The people who were rescued are in their 20s.
Crews with the Coast Guard said park rangers contacted them at midnight Sunday requesting air rescue assistance for two people who were stranded on the ledge of a cliff that was 60 feet high. The two people had climbed to get away from rising tides.
When a crew from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles arrived, its members spotted the huddled hikers’ cellphone light and quickly realized they were actually 150 feet from the waterline, officials said.
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The rescuers said they immediately knew the situation was life-threatening, making the rescue critical as the condition of the cliff was brittle.
“The time of day and location of the hikers made this, by far, the most difficult hoist of my career,” said Lt. Cmdr. Sammy Hill, the aircraft commander for the rescue. “This was also the first operational rescue for both our rescue swimmer and flight mechanic. Considering the dark and perilous conditions, they did a commendable job saving the lives of these two people in their unprecedented first rescue.”
According to a release from the Coast Guard, the helicopter hovered about 240 feet above the hikers and rescue swimmer.
The stranded hikers were pulled up from the ledge at about 2 a.m. and were taken to Forks Airport. They were reportedly in good condition.
The Coast Guard reminded “hikers to always know the tide schedule while exploring near the beach and to always have a reliable means of communication in case of an emergency.”
Just moments after the stranded hikers were spotted, their cellphones died, officials said.