Lifeguards rescue 3 men trapped in cave

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SAN DIEGO - Rescuers hoisted three men from Sunset Cliffs Sunday afternoon after they became stuck in a cave.

They got stuck in a cave at Osprey Cove when the swell became too much for them to handle, according to lifeguards.

Some swimmers in the area saw the three people trapped and called for help. That's when lifeguards along with San Diego Fire-Rescue crews jumped into action and launched a cliff hoist rescue for the three men.

“This unfortunately has become a regular occurrence with beginning swimmers,” said Lt. John Sandmeyer.

The three men were visiting from Riverside County.

"This was far beyond their ability and if they hadn't been here before they should have never been in the water with this kind of surf," Lt. Sandmeyer explained.

One victim was treated for shock, hypothermia and cuts. All three swimmers were evaluated and treated by medics on the scene before getting released.

A lifeguard boat and 5-6 lifeguards on land helped with the rescue. Lt. Sandmeyer said one swimmer was brought up in a stretcher, while the remaining two were pulled up by the cliff rescue rig.

Witnesses advised lifeguards that bystanders jumped in the water to help the stranded swimmers before rescue crews arrived. Lt. Sandmeyer said that could have also gone terribly wrong.

"If people are up on the rocks, let them stay where they are. Call the professionals, we'll come here and judge whether or not we can do a water rescue on them or extricate them up the cliff," Sandmeyer explained.

Lt. Sandmeyer also said none of the swimmers were seen jumping into the water from the cliffs, which is illegal to do in the area. They were released without receiving any citations.