Cliffside climber prompts rescue response

Cliffside climber prompts rescue response

HANSVILLE – A jogger became stranded early in the day on Jan. 2, after an attempt at traversing a steep cliffside at Foulweather Bluff, prompting a response from local rescue teams.

“It was a technical rescue response, but it wasn’t a technical rescue,” North Kitsap Fire and Rescue spokeswoman Michele Laboda said in a phone interview with Kitsap News Group.

“Apparently, a 33-year-old woman, visiting from the United Kingdom, went for a run this morning on the beach and at some point attempted to scale the cliff and come back up.”

The woman, Laboda said, began her ascent of the 300-foot cliff from the beach in order to escape the rising tide below. However, she quickly decided that she would not be summiting it.

“She ended up on a flat spot and was unable to go further up or return back down to the beach,” Laboda said. “She called her family, with whom she’s visiting here, and they in turn called 9-1-1. Our crews responded both by land to the top of the bluff and via Marine 81, our fire rescue boat. They also requested the resources of the region’s technical rescue team.

“The marine unit was able to nose the boat up to the shore, offload one of our firefighters, who in turn was able to reach the woman and assist her back down to the beach.”

According to Laboda, Marine 81 then picked up the firefighter and the woman and took them to the Driftwood Key marina where they were met by a medic unit.

“Until she was aboard the fire-rescue boat, it wasn’t clear that technical rescue teams wouldn’t be necessary,” Laboda explained in a press release about the incident. “As soon as firefighters were sure she was safe, the additional resources were returned to their stations.”

Officials recommend that hikers and runners equip themselves with information about local tides and terrain before setting out in unfamiliar territory.

— Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at ntwietmeyer@soundpublishing.com.

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