Copter saves a man who scaled cliff to propose

Copter saves a man who scaled cliff to propose
Posted at 6:42 PM, Apr 07, 2016

MORRO BAY, Calif. (AP) — As marriage proposals go, Michael Banks' was a cliff-hanger.

Banks, 27, scaled 600-foot Morro Rock on the Southern California coast Thursday morning to propose to his girlfriend live, on the Facetime app.

The good news, Morro Bay fire Capt. Todd Gailey said: The man's girlfriend said yes.

The bad news: Banks got stuck, and had to be plucked by helicopter for a tricky, post-proposal flight to safety.

After the successful proposal, Banks "took a different trail down, much steeper," Gailey said. "He couldn't go any direction, on a sheer ledge, with his feet dangling 80 feet off the ground."

Rescuers called in a helicopter, and Gailey descended by cable to hoist Banks from the narrow ledge, with the rotors spinning near the cliff and the rotor wash battering both men.

Banks was calm for most of the ordeal, but "a little unnerved" at that part, Gailey said.

Morro Rock has been the site of several fatal falls over the years. Typically after such rescues at banned climbing sites, authorities issue a citation to the climber, Gailey said. It was not immediately clear if Banks, who was unharmed, was cited.

The man said nothing during the rescue about any second thoughts on his choice of setting for the proposal, the fire captain said.

When it comes to such momentous moments, however, "there's plenty of safe and beautiful areas that people can choose from where you're not in danger of falling off a cliff," Gailey said.