A man who found himself stranded on a cliffside beach was rescued after using rocks to signal for help. The incident occurred on Sunday, June 9, while the man was kite surfing south of Davenport Landing in California.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) shared details of the rescue, noting that the beach was located at the base of a steep cliff and in a somewhat remote area where the tide was rising.

After being stranded, the man spelled out “HELP” with rocks on the beach. His distress signal caught the attention of a passing private helicopter, which promptly called for assistance. Fire Captain Skylar Merritt, involved in the rescue operation, described the moment the man spotted the helicopter and signaled his relief with a thumbs-up.

The rescue operation involved lowering a first responder from a CAL FIRE vehicle down to the surfer, who stood near his message on the beach. Subsequently, all were lifted to safety using a rope attached to the helicopter, and placed safely atop the cliff. Fortunately, the surfer was uninjured and did not require medical attention.

Kite surfer rescued from remote California beach rescued after making 'HELP'  sign with rocks

According to Merritt, the incident was caused by a combination of challenging surf conditions and a wind shadow, which hindered the man’s ability to control his kite surfboard effectively. He emphasized the area’s unpredictable conditions, where changes can occur rapidly.