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CA: Hunter falls off cliff

September 20, 2009

Man survives fall by landing on ledge

A 20-year-old man from the Los Angeles area was “very lucky” to land on a ledge midway down an approximately 800-foot drop near New Cuyama Saturday, according to Santa Barbara County fire officials.

He was extricated from his precarious position about an hour after he fell by a helicopter rescue crew and transported by ambulance to a Bakersfield hospital to be treated for a broken leg and moderate injuries to his head, neck and back, officials added.

The victim was hunting with a large party in the Cuyama Peak area, southeast of New Cuyama, Saturday when he misstepped around 8:45 a.m. and tumbled 250 to 300 feet down a nearly vertical cliff, said fire Capt. Vince Agapito.

Two members of the hunting group were able to climb down the steep incline to help him, while the others contacted emergency responders, Agapito said.

In addition to a county fire engine and the helicopter crew, the U.S. Forest Service and the county sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team helped bring up the two people who went to the wounded man’s aid, officials said.

The accident occurred on the eastern border of Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County jurisdiction, but near the Ventura County border.

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