First responders on Saturday said that a father and his son were "lucky to be alive" after they were rescued from the ocean just south of Half Moon Bay, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The roughly 10-year-old boy and his father were plucked from the water off Cowell Ranch State Beach by a good Samaritan and later flown to safety by a CHP helicopter crew, according to the CHP.
The boy was playing along a cliff near the beach when he fell about 15 feet into the chilly water below, according to the CHP. The boy's father, who was watching him, jumped in after his child, but they were both swept to the south and away from the shore.
A good Samaritan who spotted the duo struggling dove into the water and helped swim the father and son to safety along the shore. However, they ended up landing on a beach surrounded by steep cliffs and pounding surf, making it difficult for units on the ground to pull off a successful rescue.
Cal Fire firefighters managed to rappel down a cliff and offer aid to the victims, according to the CHP. The victims were cold but not seriously hurt.
A CHP helicopter crew called in to help was able to fly the victims from the beach to the top of the cliff where emergency responders were waiting, according to the CHP.