Lifeguards use crane to lift fallen teen from cliffside

SAN DIEGO -- Lifeguards used a crane truck to lift a 17-year-old woman to safety after she slipped and fell down a trail to the beach at Sunset Cliffs on Saturday.

Lifeguard Lt. Rick Romero said the woman was making her way down a commonly used -- but not officially designated -- pathway to the beach when she slipped and tumbled about 15 feet down the dirt trail to the beach.

She was scraped and cut during the fall and suffering from "a little bit of disorientation," according to Romero, so lifeguards used a crane truck to lower a litter to the woman. Rescuers strapped the woman to the backboard and carried her to the end of the beach, where they attached the litter to a crane.

A lifeguard then accompanied her on the short lift to the top of the cliff.

The fall victim was taken by ambulance to UC San Diego's medical center for treatment.

Romero said beachgoers need to be aware that paths down to the sand at Sunset Cliffs aren't official trails, and that loose dirt and rocks can make it easy to slip. "You've got to be really careful when you go down here," the lieutenant said. "Have some good footwear."