Crime - Sacto 911

CHP helicopter crews help recover drowning victim, rescue rock climber

Helicopter crews with the California Highway Patrol’s Valley Division were kept busy Friday, rescuing a man who had fallen from a cliff in El Dorado County in the morning and helping recover the body of a drowning victim in Nevada County in the afternoon.

In the Nevada County incident, the CHP helicopter crew was called about 4 p.m. to assist the Nevada County Consolidated Fire Department, which had received a report of a possible drowning in the South Yuba River at the Highway 49 bridge.

The helicopter arrived at the scene and hoisted a man from the river. He was transported to the Highway 49 bridge, where he was pronounced dead by Nevada County paramedics, according to a CHP Air Operations news release. No information about the victim was available.

About 10 a.m., a helicopter crew responded to a request by the El Dorado County search and rescue team to assist a 20-year-old man who had fallen from a cliff at Lover’s Leap, near Strawberry west of Lake Tahoe. The area is popular with rock climbers.

The man was climbing when he slipped and fell approximately 50 feet, striking a ledge. He then fell an additional 50 feet until his climbing rope broke his fall, CHP officials said.

Ground crews from various fire departments in El Dorado County as well and the search and rescue team hiked to the location and stabilized the injured climber. The helicopter crew lowered equipment to the rescuers on the ground, then hoisted the man from the cliff’s edge into the helicopter. Because of the severity of his injuries, the man was flown to Renown Medical Center in Reno, where he was admitted, the CHP reported.