Cliff-top marriage proposal ends in helicopter rescue

Michael Banks got stuck on a sheer ledge while trying to impress his girlfriend


Man gets stuck on Morro Rock after scaling 600-feet to propose to his girlfriend

A 27-year-old man's ambitious plan to propose to his girlfriend after scaling a cliff face ended with him being winched to safety by a rescue helicopter.

Michael Banks climbed Morro Rock, just off California's Central Coast, to propose to his girlfriend, who was watching via FaceTime video.

Romantic Michael Banks is winched to safety after scaling a rock in California from where he proposed to his girlfriend

The good news for Banks was that his girlfriend said yes; the bad news was that he then got stuck, as this video shows.

City of Morro Bay | Facebook

Morro Bay fire captain Todd Gailey said Banks "took a different trail down, much steeper" and became stranded.

See also: RSPCA rescues 'daredevil' sheep from cliff edge

"He couldn't go any direction, on a sheer ledge, with his feet dangling 80ft off the ground."

See also: 'Lucky' couple winched to safety in Cornwall

A rescue helicopter was called in, with Gailey descending by cable to hoist Banks from the narrow ledge in a tricky operation, with the rotors spinning close to the cliff and ocean spray battering both men.

Morro Rock off the Californian coast

Banks was calm for most of the ordeal, but "a little unnerved" during the crucial airlift, Gailey said.

Morro Rock is a landmark located just offshore from the community of Morro Bay. Climbing is banned but some people attempt the ascent anyway, and there have been several fatal falls over the years.

Typically when someone needs to be rescued they are fined, Gailey said. In a Facebook post, City Of Morro Bay said the "gentleman will be billed for the chopper ride and other related costs", while reminding people to appreciate the landmark from the ground.

Banks said nothing during the rescue about any second thoughts on his choice of setting for the proposal, Gailey revealed.

However, the fire captain suggested that other romantics should consider a place "where you're not in danger of falling off a cliff".

Sounds like good advice to us.

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