Shortly before 5 p.m., the "Henry-1" helicopter was called to Schooner Gulch Beach near Point Arena on a report of a windsurfer in distress, according to the sheriff's office.
The helicopter crew spotted the windsurfer's yellow board floating a few hundred yards offshore after having been separated from the sail, which was located a half-mile away.
The helicopter crew then spotted the windsurfer, a 51-year-old man, standing on a small beach at the base of a 70-foot cliff and holding two sticks over his head, according to the sheriff's office.
The windsurfer, a resident of Boonville in Mendocino County, was lifted by a 100-foot long-line to safety on the bluff above him. He was treated by local emergency responders for some signs of dehydration, but was later released at the scene, according to the sheriff's office.