Search & Rescue
updated: Oct 12, 2012, 8:59 AM
Source: Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department
In the early morning hours of Wednesday October 10th, 2012, members of the Santa Barbara County
Search and Rescue team (SBCSAR) along with a helicopter from the Santa Barbara County Air Support
Unit rescued two lost female hikers in the Point Sal area south of Guadalupe.
The hikers, who were from Oceano and Arroyo Grande, became disoriented while trying to return from
the beach back to their car. SBCSAR team members responded to the location, and were assisted in the
search by members of Vandenberg AFB Military Police and Guadalupe Fire Department.
The search for the lost hikers covered the beach at the end of Brown Road, and the adjacent bluff areas.
SBCSAR used a Polaris Razor modified for search operations, a thermal (infrared) imaging unit, and night
vision optics in near total darkness to assist them in the operation. SBCSAR ground teams were able to
track the lost subjects (and their dog) via foot prints and other evidence, along the beach and in the
higher bluff areas. Although the terrain was difficult, the ground teams tracked throughout the night
and into the morning narrowing down the search area.
Just before daybreak, a helicopter from the Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit was launched from its
base at the Santa Ynez Airport, in attempt to locate the lost hikers from the sky. Shortly after being
briefed of the refined search area, the helicopter crew found the two lost women huddled under a tree.
County Air Support personnel safely landed, boarded the hikers, and flew them out to SBCSAR ground
teams. Search and Rescue E.M.T.'s evaluated the ladies who were found to be in good condition despite
spending the night out on their own.
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