PORTLAND, Ore. - Christian Booth thought his life was over when he slipped and fell 200 feet from a cliff at the coast, but the 17-year-old survived the fall and was rescued by the Coast Guard.
Booth, from Spanaway, Washington and two friends were looking for adventure on the cliffs near Ilwaco, Washington.
“We looked over the edge and saw a cave and said that would be cool to go down to the cave,” Booth said Tuesday from his hospital bed at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland.
But while heading down to explore the cave, his foot slipped on the grass and he slid on his side and rear-end while struggling to grasp at anything to stop him from going over the edge.
“I was just really, really scared (and) trying to grab bits of grass,” Booth said. “Once I hit the air, I was like, ‘game over.’”
“I yelled out to him a few times and he didn’t reply, and then I really started to get shaky and it was hard to think after that just knowing something must have been really wrong with him,” said Booth’s friend Reggie McDuffy.
While in the air Booth had to make quick decisions to ensure his survival.
“So it was more like, I’ll give up my arms and legs before I give up my head and face first,” he said. “I’ll put everything out in front of me and break as much as I can.”
When he hit the rocks he blacked out. He woke up confused.
“I thought it was all a dream because I thought this would never have happened to me in real life. This wouldn’t happen.”
But he saw the blood and broken bones.
“I slowly remembered everything. And I was like, “wow, this is real now.”
Rescuers rappelled down the side of the cliff and brought in a helicopter. He said they really helped him on the rocks by praying with him and holding him as if they were his own parents.
The trio said they regret their adventure that took them off the trail.
“I just feel lucky to be alive and have my friends and family with me all the time,” he said.
Booth has a broken knee cap, forearm, broken bones in his face and teeth that are out of place or gone.