Firefighters work to rescue a 90-year-old man from a cliff side on Marrowstone Island. (East Jefferson Fire-Rescue)

Firefighters work to rescue a 90-year-old man from a cliff side on Marrowstone Island. (East Jefferson Fire-Rescue)

Nonagenarian climbs ladder up cliff to safety after fall

90-year-old man unharmed after plunge on Marrowstone Island

MARROWSTONE ISLAND — East Jefferson Fire-Rescue took the lead in a multi-department tactical rescue of a 90-year-old man who fell off a cliff and was helped to climb up a ladder and walk away.

At 6:46 p.m. Sunday, East Jefferson Fire-Rescue (EJFR) deployed fire engines, ambulances and their fire boat Guardian to rescue the man off a cliff side of Marrowstone Road, approximately a half mile south of East Beach Park, according to Assistant Fire Chief Pete Brummel.

The man is unidentified because of privacy concerns, according to the department.

Brummel supervised the coordination of three different departments: EJFR, Port Ludlow and the Naval Magazine Indian Island Fire Departments. Firefighters received assistance from the Kitsap Fire Tactical rescue as well.

The man reportedly fell about 25 feet onto blackberry bushes and other natural underbrush, which Brummel said cushioned his fall.

“Probably another 10 or 15 feet and there would have been a significant drop down onto the beach,” Brummel said.

When Brummel arrived on scene, the man was lucid and was able to communicate with the rescuers, who then decided to attempt a “tactical rescue,” according to Brummel.

The team rigged a rope harness system and lowered one of their crew members to the man and then a ladder from one of their trucks to the outcrop. They attached a rope harness for safety, and the man climbed up the ladder and back to the top of the cliff to be treated by the rescue team, according to Brummel.

He was treated for minor injuries there and then taken to Jefferson Healthcare as a precaution, Brummel said.


Jefferson County reporter Zachary Jablonski can be reached at

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