Injured Hiker Airlifted from Tangerine Falls

Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue team used Starlink satellites to make phone calls near Tangerine Falls during a hiker rescue on Saturday. (courtesy photo)

Saturday morning shortly before 11:30 a.m., Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue (SBCSAR) responded along with Montecito Fire and AMR ambulance to reports of an injured hiker with upper extremity injuries near Tangerine Falls.

Fire personnel and SAR personnel hiked up the trail with one team going up the creek and the other taking the North Cold Spring route. Due to the terrain and damage to the trail after rains and debris flow, a helicopter from Santa Barbara County Air Support was also dispatched to the scene.

Just before the ground team arrival, Air Support arrived overhead and inserted a rescue technician to evaluate the injured subject and determined that a hoist of the subject would be most effective.

Helicopter rescuing an injured hiker at Tangerine Falls on Saturday (courtesy photo)

Ground teams remained in the area until the hoist was complete should there be any need for ground resources to continue in to the scene. Teams returned to the trailhead and completed a debrief with all personnel.

Communications have always plagued these narrow canyons and mobile phone reception has been nonexistent, to that, SAR responds to incidents at this trailhead with SARlink (Space X Starlink Satellite Internet) for WiFi and calls. We have also years ago placed a portable radio repeater in the canyon and yesterday it worked very well with crystal clear communications.

SBCSAR would like to remind those hiking on trails in the local area that dangerous conditions exist, even with countless hours of work by local trail crews. Signs are posted to remind the hiking public but caution should always be used, regardless of hiking ability and if posted or not.

(courtesy photo)

Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue is a professional, all volunteer and unpaid 501(c)3 organization that is community supported by generous giving to provide services to the County of Santa Barbara under the direction of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. To learn about supporting SBCSAR, please visit our newly updated website or reach out to us.


Written by SBCSAR

Press releases written by Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue. Learn more at

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