A video shared by the City of Morro Bay on Facebook today shows Michael Banks being rescued from a ledge on the 600-foot volcanic plug overlooking Morror Bay.
“A video of today’s Morrow Rock Rescue. The gentleman will be billed for the chopper ride and other related costs. We are glad all involved are OK, and appreciate the hard work of our first responders. Climbing Morro Rock is illegal and dangerous.
Banks, 27, had scaled 600-foot Morro Rock just off California’s Central Coast early Thursday morning to propose to his girlfriend, who was watching via FaceTime video.
According to Morro Bay fire Captain Todd Gailey, Banks’ girlfriend said yes, but unfortunately, he got stuck, and had to be plucked by helicopter for a tricky, post-proposal flight to safety. Banks took a different trail down, much steeper and became stranded, 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 ocean spray battering both men. Banks was calm for most of the ordeal, but “a little unnerved” at that part, Gailey said.
Morro Rock is a landmark located just offshore from the community of Morro Bay. Climbing is banned but some go anyway and there have been several fatal falls over the years.
Typically when someone needs to be rescued they are ticketed, Gailey said. It was not immediately clear if Banks, who was unharmed, was cited. Banks said nothing during the rescue about any second thoughts on his choice of setting for the proposal.
Watch the video below