Teen seriously injured when rock falls on him in Laguna Beach

Rescuers work to help a 15-year-old boy who was injured while walking along the rocks in Emerald Bay on Wednesday.
(Courtesy of Laguna Beach Police Department)

A 15-year-old boy suffered serious injuries to one of his arms and a leg while walking with a friend along rocks near the ocean in Laguna Beach on Wednesday, authorities said.

The boy’s right arm was partially severed and his left leg became stuck when a rock the size of a cooler fell on him, authorities said.

The Orange County Fire Authority, along with Laguna Beach firefighters, police and lifeguards, responded to a rescue call at Emerald Bay at 3:20 p.m., authorities said in a post on social media.

After hiking to the remote area, crews used airbags to lift the rock and then “basically used brute strength to push that boulder off the kid to free him,” said Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito. The airbags can lift thousands of pounds, Bommarito said.

The boy was taken by helicopter to UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange shortly after 4 p.m.

Beach-goers should always be aware of potential danger in cliff areas, Bommarito said.

“We don’t know if it’s going to be stable or not,” he said. “Nobody does.”

Twitter: @HannahFryTCN


7:30 a.m. July 19: This article was updated with additional details and with comments from Tony Bommarito.

This article was originally published at 5:40 p.m. July 18.