Man rescued after fall from 20-foot cliff at Larrabee State Park

A camper was rescued early Saturday morning after falling from a 20-foot cliff and onto the beach below.

The camper, a man in his 50s who has not been identified, was stargazing at the park with friends and family when he slipped and fell from the cliff just before 1 a.m., said Mitch Nolze, battalion chief with South Whatcom Fire Authority. The fall happened just southwest of the Band Shell.

The man shouted to rescuers at the top of the cliff that he was having trouble moving and was in “extreme pain,” Nolze said. Nolze did not specify the man’s injuries, citing patient privacy laws.

Rescuers considered several methods to get to the man, including accessing the beach by boat, but the coastline was too rocky, Nolze said.

Once rescuers reached the man, more people were needed to help haul him out, Nolze said.

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue division sent more volunteer rescuers to help. Crews also had to disassemble a section of the guard rail along the cliff’s edge to get equipment into place.

The rescue lasted about three hours, Nolze said.

“Setting up those things takes time and people,” Nolze said. “We wanted to be extra cautious in those circumstances, especially in the dark.”

The man was taken to St. Joseph hospital.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan