Teens summit Morro Rock but need lift down

February 20, 2015
Photo by Daniel Blackburn

Photo by Daniel Blackburn

Three teenage boys succeeded in their quest to climb Morro Rock, but getting down required help from San Luis Obispo County rescue services. [KEYT]

Dominic Mandarino, Hunter Morrison and Tevor Ziminsky made it their mission Thursday afternoon to get to the top of the 581-foot rock. They said they wanted to do so because it looked fun.

Mandarino’s mother, Michelle, was standing nearby watching. Michelle Mandarino said she and others looked up, and by no great surprise, saw the boys up there.

But, soon after, fire and rescue trucks appeared at the base of the rock, and personnel from multiple public safety agencies arrived at the scene. It took nearly three hours for rescue workers to bring the teens down to safety.

Zeminsky, who got stuck on the way down, said the rock was too steep to descend.

Each of the boys received citations when they reached the bottom. “Tons of police” also yelled at them, Zeminsky said.


Looks like they need a bigger “DO NOT CLIMB” sign. I guess years ago people climbed it all the time! An ol’ local told me they used to camp overnight up there. Article does not say if these boys were local (knowing no one is allowed to climb) or out of towners’ with no idea about our Rock Rules?


Probably safe to assume that the parents of the other teens will not put their kids under the supervision of Mrs. Mandarino in the future. What an idiot.


What the HELL is wrong with the “mother”, Michelle Mandarino? The article said she was standing there “WATCHING” the boys. She needs to be held accountable for their actions. She’s supposed to be the “adult”!


They put the lives of rescuers at risk….I would have yelled at them too!

Jack Smith

Morro Rock…look, but don’t touch. Everyone should be able to “hike” up the Rock. There should be guided “hikes” by docents to the the summit. Charge $50-$100 per person. Give some of the money collected to the Native Americans and some to the Peregrine falcon folks. Increase the fine from $500 to $5,000 for those who hike up the Rock on their own.

mb business owner

This is something that Neil Ferrel of the bay news has talked about forever! Good luck with those in charge in morro bay – it will NEVER fly, it would require making an actual decision.

Ben Daho

It’s a rock. They’re kids. Eh… How DARE they!!!!


Would you feel the same way if a responder had been injured during the rescue?


Ziminsky? Zeminsky? And what does “tons of police yelled at them” mean?

Rich in MB

They need to get some serious community service time for this stunt.

They can’t afford a fine, but make them spend the next 6 months doing beach and road clean-up in Morro Bay on Saturdays!

Teens need to be taught responsibility for their actions and having mom/dad pay a fine won’t help.


Divide it three ways, and send the parents the bill for all responders.