SAN DIEGO — Rescuers climbed a ladder to save a man who got stranded high atop a U.S.-Mexico border wall in San Diego Friday night.
Someone spotted the man on the barrier around 9:30 p.m. near La Media Road in the Otay Mesa area, according to a photographer with OnScene TV, who recorded video of the rescue.
The video shows the man stuck high atop the roughly 30-foot wall, clinging to the top and resting his feet on two of the long beams that make up the barrier. A San Diego Fire-Rescue crew used a specialized ladder truck to extend a rescuer all the way up to the man.
The firefighter wrapped a harness around the man’s legs and waist, then guided him with a hand on his hip as the two slowly backed down the ladder to safety.
Once he reached ground, the man — who appeared to be uninjured — was turned over to immigration authorities. Video showed a U.S. Border Patrol agent escorting the man to the back of a waiting truck.
A recent study from UC San Diego warned of an “unprecedented,” five-time increase in the number of people getting badly hurt in falls from the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Physicians with the university’s medical center attribute the rise in injuries to a recent height increase from a range of 8 to 17 feet to 30 feet.
“The height increase of the border wall along the San Ysidro and El Centro sectors was touted as making the barrier ‘unclimbable,’ but that has not stopped people from attempting to do so with consequential results,” wrote Dr. Amy Liepert, the director of acute care surgery at UCSD Health.
FOX 5 has reported on border falls as they happen in the San Diego area, including a May crossing attempt in which a man died from his injuries.