Woman Rescued After Plunge From Cliff Near Mt. St. Helena in Napa County

Sonoma County Sheriff's team performed the weekend helicopter rescue.

A helicopter crew rescued a woman after she fell from a cliff in the Mount St. Helena area of Napa County on Saturday afternoon, a Sonoma County sheriff's lieutenant said.

At about 1:05 p.m. Saturday, a crew for the Sonoma County sheriff's helicopter Henry 1 initiated a cliff rescue in an area near Mount St. Helena known for remote hiking trails and steep cliffs with limited vehicle access, sheriff's Lt. Tim Duke said.

During the 10-minute flight to the scene, the crew was informed that a 52-year-old woman had fallen about 15 feet from a cliff and landed on her back, Duke said.
Once on scene, the helicopter crew saw the patient lying on the ground at the bottom of a 175-foot cliff with numerous people standing near her, according to the lieutenant.

Duke said the people near the woman were equipped with rock climbing gear and several ropes were attached to the cliff. The helicopter pilot landed several hundred yards away from the patient and the crew configured the aircraft for a long-line rescue.

Due to the steep cliff next to the patient, 200 feet of rope was attached to the belly of the aircraft to extract the woman from the site.

A crewmember reached the woman and assessed her health while another crewmember prepared for the long-line extraction, Duke said. Several rock climbers at the scene helped the emergency crew place the woman in a spinal precaution device and stretcher.

She was then lifted from the site and flown to a nearby area. The pilot was able to land the aircraft and load the woman into the helicopter. From there, she was flown to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, arriving at 2:09 p.m.

The cause of her fall and the extent of her injuries have not yet been released.

--Bay City News


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