Father, son rescued from bluffs near Fort Worden

PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. - A father and son were rescued were rescued unharmed from the northern bluffs of Fort Worden late Tuesday night.

According to the family, 15-year old Zach Miller left the family campsite shortly after 8 p.m. and wandered up through the old military batteries of the fort. At about 8:30 p.m. he fell down the bluff.

The boy came to rest about 100 feet down the bluff - unharmed but stuck on a small outcropping.

His parents became alarmed at their son’s absence and called him on his cell phone at about 9 p.m. After he told them what happened and where he was stuck, they left the campsite and found him.

His father, Bill Miller, attempted a rope rescue as darkness descended, but his rope was too short to reach his son and he also ended up trapped on the bluff, approximately 75 feet down and 30 feet to the east of his trapped son.

At that point, the mother contacted a Fort Worden park ranger who called 911.

East Jefferson Fire Rescue responded to the scene at about 10:30 p.m. and immediately began preparations for a technical rope rescue.

Firefighter Justin Fletcher rappelled down the cliff and attached a rope harness to Zach before both were hoisted back up the cliff. Once Zach was safe, Fletcher rappelled back down to Bill Miller before both were lifted to the top of the cliff.

Firefighters from Naval Magazine Indian Island and Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue assisted in the rescue efforts.

The rescue took place near Tolles Battery, the site of a black Labrador retriever cliff rescue last year.