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Man falls 30ft from cove cliff

May 25, 2006|By Michael Miller, Dave Brooks and Alicia Robinson

CRYSTAL COVE STATE PARK ? A Westminster man hiking with his girlfriend Wednesday at Crystal Cove State Park was rescued by helicopter after falling about 30 feet from a cliff, officials said.

Officials said the man was 49 but they did not release his name or information on his condition. He was flown to Mission Trauma Center in Mission Viejo with head and arm injuries, Crystal Cove State Park Superintendent Ken Kramer said. Authorities are still investigating whether drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident.

The man and his girlfriend were hiking near cliffs at the west end of the park and apparently left the designated trail, officials said. After the man fell, an elderly man walking his dog discovered him while his girlfriend had gone to get help, Kramer said.

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Newport Beach firefighters, and lifeguards from Newport Beach and the state park, assisted with the rescue and the Orange County Fire Authority provided the helicopter, Newport Beach Fire Department spokeswoman Jen Schulz said.

"It's a really dangerous area and it's not really accessible," she said. "You couldn't get there by boat to lift someone off, which is how we usually do it."

Because a medic truck couldn't reach the area either, the fire authority lifted the man by helicopter in a rescue basket, Schulz said.

Kramer said the man's girlfriend indicated he had injured himself in the park before.

"She said he was injured here not too long ago. He tried jumping off a rock and broke his ankle," Kramer said.

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