St. Paul firefighters rappelled down a cliff around 2 a.m. Sunday to rescue a man who was stranded 100 feet above the ground.
The rescue squad was called to the cliff near Wabasha Avenue and Shepard Road, where the man was stuck “with no way of getting down,” the Fire Department said in a tweet.
A video of the rescue shows a first responder rappelled the face of the cliff to meet the man, who was not injured.
Roy Mokosso, St. Paul Fire Department spokesman, said rescuers pull three to four people from caves on the cliffs each year, either because people get injured or end up in a spot that’s beyond their comfort level and need help out.
Though it’s illegal to enter the caves, people are known to do “urban cave exploring,” Mokosso said, and sometimes the homeless make it a permanent sheltered space through the winter.
It’s unclear what the man was doing in the area Sunday morning and if he or a passerby called in the rescue, Mokosso said.
He said crews did find some steel cabling tied off, so it’s possible the man lowered himself down. “There are a number of unknowns,” he added.
It’s not known if the man will be charged for trespassing in the restricted area. Mokosso said some adolescents faced charges several years ago after they needed to be rescued from the west side of the caves.
“It’s tough because an individual puts themself in a precarious position and then rescuers have to,” he said.
Rescuers used spotlights and headlamps during the middle-of-the-night rescue, and authorities shut down westbound traffic on Shepard Road.