A 19-year-old US Navy sailor had a frightening fall while working on a ship near Naval Base San Diego on Thursday.

Firefighters had to perform a challenging rescue after the seaman fell 20 feet, down into the hold of a ship, NBC 7 reported.

It happened just before 9am yesterday at the BAE System’s shipyard on Belt Street.

The seaman was reportedly working on a ship that was being repaired on the dry dock, when he fell 2 stories through a hatch, into the interior of the ship.

Capt. Joe Amador with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Dept. told NBC7, the rescue took about an hour. He said a special rescue team had to be called in to perform what’s known as a vertical rescue, which can be very tricky.

Rescuers had to use a rope system and crane to pull the seaman out of a ‘very tight, small space’. This proved especially challenging, Amador said.

Officials say the victim suffered severe head injuries and fractures and was rushed to the hospital. His condition is not yet known.

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