Dramatic search closes Devil’s Slide

An ill-advised hike to the beach prompted a multi-agency response that shut down Devil’s Slide for hours in both directions Monday and ended with a dramatic helicopter rescue.

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Lt. Marc Alcantara said two bicyclists traveling down the coastline from Oregon had met up with another man and the trio decided to camp along the rugged cliffs south of Pacifica that line state Highway 1.

The Oregon residents — 32-year-old Kristin Roach and 22-year-old Robert Harrington — and their unnamed companion then decided to hike down the steep cliff to the beach below, Alcantara said. The three made it to the shore safely, but then discovered they were unable to get back up.

Harrington eventually scrambled back up to the highway, where he flagged down a motorist. The driver brought Harrington to Pacifica, where he was taken by ambulance to San Mateo Medical Center for an injured shoulder, Alcantara said.

Just after 3 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office launched an intensive search for the two stranded beachgoers. Cal Fire, the county harbor master and the U.S. Coast Guard assisted in the search, which was hampered by heavy fog, Alcantara said.

The California Highway Patrol shut down the highway for more than two hours during the search.

tbarak@examiner.com

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