Emergency crews Friday came to the rescue of a hiker who took a late-night tumble down a sea-front bluff in the Torrey Pines area, then languished seriously injured and stranded on the beach for about nine hours.
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A passer-by found the ailing man at Black's Beach, just north of Torrey Pines Gliderport, about 8:30 a.m. and made an emergency call, San Diego lifeguard Lt. John Everhart said.
Due to the remoteness of the location, which is about a mile from the nearest road, an emergency-services helicopter was dispatched to pick up the man, who was conscious and alert but suffering from "traumatic" injuries, according to Everhart.
"He's luck to be alive. Any time you have traumatic injuries and you don't receive immediate treatment, there's a lot of very serious potential consequences," said Everhart.
Medics airlifted the man, who is in his 40s, to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. His name was not released.
The patient told lifeguards he had plunged about halfway down the cliff about 11 p.m. Thursday, falling roughly 40 feet. He then was able to slowly make his way down the rest of the precipice but was too badly hurt to hike off the beach and get help, Everhart said.
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