MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A man needed to be rescued after falling 150 feet down over a cliff near the Mississippi River in Minneapolis Monday morning.

Along a wooded and winding river trail, near South 25th Street and West River Parkway, the drama unfolded. It was shortly after daybreak when Minneapolis Fire received a 911 call that an unknown individual had fallen over a steep cliff and was lying near the ice-covered river.

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“He’d fallen about 150 feet and over the edge of the cliff and he landed near the ice shelf and almost into the river,” Deputy Fire Chief Kathleen Mullen said.

Unfortunately, the man’s 911 call from a TracFone didn’t give responders an exact location of the accident, so Hennepin County dispatchers used GPS to ping the man’s phone and his approximate location.

The first firefighters to arrive began walking the bluff trail, yelling out below. They finally spotted him at the bottom of the river bluff about 150 feet down the steep edge.

“Acting Captain Jurek came up with a basic plan to develop a plan and everybody has an assigned role and we went into our roles and made it happen from there,” technical response unit member Dean Anderson said.

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With carabineers and ropes, harnesses and belays, firefighters Troy Svendahl and Bob Hanson were lowered down. At the bottom of the bluff, they assessed the victim’s injuries and prepared him for the lift to safety.

“Pretty obviously he’d been down there for several hours so he was very cold and unable to help us with standing or manipulating any kind of equipment,” Anderson said.

Firmly anchored to a fire rig, ropes were the only method of rescue. For every three feet of pull, the victim came up a foot.

“It’s definitely unusual based on the conditions and the situation the person was in,” Anderson said.

Later that morning at Minneapolis Fire Station number Eight, the team that took part in the rescue analyzed every aspect of this life-saving call. Celebrating what went right and correcting anything that went wrong.

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One thing that’s certain, Anderson maintains, “as far as where he was and the condition and risk he was in, these two rescuers who went down absolutely saved his life today.”