HALF MOON BAY -- A 25-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries Sunday afternoon when he fell from a cliff near the Ritz-Carlton Hotel resort.

Fire official Ari Delay said the unidentified man fell about 100 feet to the beach from where signs warn people of the danger of walking too closely to the edge.

"Fortunately for him, there was a path to the bottom, and our crews were able to go down and prepare him for a helicopter rescue," said Delay, a battalion chief with the Coastside Fire Protection District.

The victim's name was not available, and it wasn't clear if he was a guest at the hotel, but Delay confirmed that he was from out of town. He fell about 2:10 p.m. and was flown to Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto with major injuries, Delay said.

Although such serious accidents are unusual, Delay said visitors to the area should be wary of coastal cliffs, which can appear stable but sometimes crumble quickly under pressure.

Contact Joe Rodriguez at 408-920-5767.