Caught on Camera: 2 boys rescued from rocky ridge

    10:39 AM, Jun 18, 2013   |    comments
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    UNDATED (CNN) -- A dangerous cliff rescue in California was all caught on camera. Two teens were stranded on a narrow ledge, several hundred feet up.

    It was a rescue like none other; at 8600 feet up, two boys were trapped on the rocky spine of a ridge only a few feet wide. Austin Deschler, 16, says, "As we went up there, we made decisions to get up, that ended up making it so we couldn't get back."

    Bad decisions that Dreschler and a friend on a family camping trip will never forget in gorgeous but unforgiving nature, where biting off more than one can chew was all too easy. Deschler says, "We thought we could walk across the ridge, when we got up there and saw the other side, it was heartbreaking. That's when we realized, we're in trouble."

    It was serious trouble with high winds with gusts up to 30 miles per hour buffeting the helicopters. California Highway Patrol made four passes before, with the precision of a surgeon, plucked the boys to safety. Officer David White with the California Highway Patrol says, "It was the most challenging that I've ever done in the 12 years that I've been in air operations."

    The challenge was lowering harnesses the boys themselves had to put on, then coming back around to have them hook up to be safely carried to a landing zone miles away. White says, "We lowered the hook a couple of times, but the wind would blow us out of our position and we'd have to go back around and try it again."

    The harnesses must be worn correctly or else it is a long fall.

    For a nervous father watching all of this from below, it was heart-stopping. Dad Richard says, "It's my oldest son and that doesn't come back, right? I mean, you don't recover from something like that."

    Thankfully, only a frightening lesson learned.

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