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Man rescued from Oregon Coast cliff

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A search and rescue rappeler, red shirt, descends a cliff to reach Brookings man Anthony Lohman (blue shirt), who got trapped partway up while climbing the cliff. Image courtesy Curry County Sheriff’s Office
Search-and-rescue team sends rappeler down cliff to save man

A man was rescued on the Oregon Coast by a daring rappeler after he decided to scale a cliff but got stuck on a ledge partway up.

Anthony Lohman, 41, of Brookings went for a walk Tuesday on Lone Ranch Beach north of the coastal town, then started climbing an oceanside cliff.

About 90 feet up from rocks and crashing waves below, he realized he couldn’t climb any higher to the cliff’s top, but also couldn’t get back down.

Lohman called 911 and talked to a dispatcher about his life-threatening dilemma. The dispatcher kept him on the phone and assured him search-and-rescue would find and help him, according to the Curry County Sheriff’s Office.

Dispatch sent sheriff’s deputies to the location to try and find Lohman before a search-and-rescue team arrived. A dispatcher worked with Lohman to send photos to help determine his exact location.

Finding and rescuing people on Oregon’s beaches and cliffs is notoriously difficult because of the length of coastal recreation areas.

After the search-and-rescue team arrived and found Lohman, they made a plan to rescue him from the cliff face. A team member used a drone to take video and scout out the location, and also to communicate with the stranded man using the drone’s radio speaker, the sheriff’s office said.

Several team members risked their lives to establish an anchor point with rope on a steep, narrow ridge at the top of the cliff. One rappeled down the cliff face to reach Lohman, attached a harness, and the two descended to the beach below, the sheriff’s office said.

“The rescue took about five hours, and it was dark by the time they got back to the Lone Ranch parking lot. A total of eight SAR members were involved in the rescue, and it is amazing how they were able to safely get Lowman off the ledge he was on and back to safety,” Curry County Sheriff John Ward said in a news advisory. “These men and women who volunteer their time and experience to save lives are remarkable, and I could not be prouder of them.”

Dispatchers had contacted the U.S. Coast Guard to dispatch a helicopter, but due to foggy weather, the Coast Guard couldn’t help with the rescue, the sheriff’s office said.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.