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Previous story Hiker survives 100-foot fall the day before 25th birthday: 'It kind of felt like I was having a dream' Next story

Story by Jayati Ramakrishnan | The Oregonian/OregonLive - Story Source
Published on Tuesday March 9, 2021 - 11:26 PM

Twenty-five will always be a memorable birthday for Gil Tighe.

The Portland resident set out Friday for the Oregon coast with their partner, hoping to celebrate the milestone a day early.

By the end of the celebration, Tighe was in the hospital after falling 100 feet off a cliff. After a challenging rescue and a helicopter ride to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Tighe is happy to be alive and telling the story.

Tighe said the couple arrived at Hug Point, a state recreation site just south of Cannon Beach, in the afternoon. The two hung out on the beach, ate cake and took pictures.

Around 4 p.m., the pair decided to explore. From previous visits, they knew of an area at Hug Point that, at low tide, allows hikers to get to the other side of the cove.

The tide was too high to access it, but the couple found what appeared to be some human-made trails through the grass that looked as if they might lead to the same place. Tighe went first because the trails looked a little slippery.

For the first few feet, Tighe was holding on to a wall along the trail for support. But a few steps in, Tighe suddenly lost footing and started slipping. Tighe skidded on dirt and rocks for about 10 feet, trying to stop before a sudden drop.

"I don't even remember the fall itself. It kind of felt like I was having a dream," Tighe said. "Even waking up on the rocks, covered in blood, I still felt like I was having a dream."

Tighe said paramedics estimated the cliff was about 100 feet high. After regaining consciousness at the bottom of the cliff, Tighe heard their partner yelling that they had called 911.

Without glasses, lost in the fall, Tighe couldn't see the extent of their injuries but immediately realized one of their arms was broken.

While waiting for paramedics, Tighe crawled around the rocks and eventually found their cellphone, which had service. Tighe called their partner, who relayed information as rescue crews arrived.