Firefighters from St. Paul Fire Department’s Rescue Squad 3 were called out early Sunday morning to a report of an adult male stuck on a cliff near Wabasha Avenue and Shepard Road.
Video of the rescue, which happened at 1:37 a.m., shows the man, who is believed to be in 50s, about 100 feet above the ground “with no way of getting down,” Deputy Chief Roy Mokosso said.
A safe rescue was performed, and no injuries were reported, he said.
Yesterday at 1:37am @StPaulFireDept Rescue Squad 3 performed a Technical Rescue of an individual at Wabasha and Shepard Rd. The individual was stuck 100’ above the ground with no way of getting down. A safe Rescue was performed and no injuries were reported. pic.twitter.com/o9rAFfjToL
— Saint Paul Fire Dept (@StPaulFireDept) February 2, 2020
Fire officials are not sure how the man got to the face of the cliff, but Mokosso said cabling or steel wires were found at the top of the cliff.
“He may have lowered himself down and became stuck,” Mokosso said. “He also may have come through a network of series of tunnels in the cliff.”
Fire officials routinely have seen either “urban explorers” in the networks or “unsheltered individuals using the caves as shelter,” Mokosso said.
It is illegal to enter the city’s caves.
In November 2017, firefighters had to descend into a cave in Crosby Farm Regional Park to bring eight teenagers to safety.
Two weeks earlier, they had to extricate two teenage boys from a deep cave on the city’s West Side. In that case, the teens had climbed down a shaft to reach the cave about 100 feet below but could not climb back out.
The particular danger in caves is the unknown air quality. In April 2004, three teenagers died after they were overcome by carbon monoxide fumes while exploring caves on the city’s West Side.
(c)2020 the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)
Visit the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.) at www.twincities.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.