Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers

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Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers
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Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Helicopters with County Fire and Search and Rescue located five lost hikers using night vision on Sunday morning.

At approximately 11:00 p.m.  Saturday, Santa Barbara County Firefighters responded with the Sheriff's Department as well as Sheriff’s Search & Rescue (SAR) Units to the area of Miranda Pine Campground, in the Los Padres National Forest, near the Cuyama Valley for a possible medical emergency involving an overdue hunter.  The male was one of five that were overdue and possibly lost.

The SAR coordinator requested the help of the County’s Air Support Unit Sheriff’s Copter 2 in locating the subjects using their night vision and infrared capabilities. Fire Copter 308, with two Fire Paramedics from Station 32 aboard, also flew to the scene. Copter 2 located two of the separated hikers and vectored Fire Copter in for the paramedic assessment/hoisting operation.

With no moon, lights, and very steep rugged terrain, it presented a very challenging mission for the pilots, even using the Night Vision Goggles.  A Fire/Paramedic was lowered approximately 50 feet to the men.  After a thorough assessment, it was determined that one of the hikers was suffering from severe dehydration and disorientation.  Due to the ridgeline and dust cloud created causing concern for the pilot already with limited visibility, the men were hoisted back aboard Fire Copter 308 from a higher distance of almost 90 feet.  With fuel levels becoming a concern, the copter flew to Santa Barbara Airport, where they were met by an AMR ground ambulance for transport to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Sheriff’s Copter 2 remained overhead back at Miranda Pine Campground along with Sheriff’s Deputy and Search and Rescue, who all continued their search for the 3 remaining people.  

The SAR personnel on foot were able to locate the three and hiked out safely with the entire incident completed on Sunday morning at approximately 7:00 a.m.

 

[Editor's Note: This article has been updated and corrected with information from Santa Barbara County Fire Department Public Information Officer Mike Eliason]

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a-1534148367 Aug 13, 2018 01:19 AM
Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers

Maybe what needs to happen on these trails is the installation of a box at the beginning of each trail, with the boxes containing pieces of red or hot pink-colored ribbon. (No plastic, please.) Ribbons would be color-coded for the trail the hikers intend to take. Then the hikers tie a ribbon around a twig every so often, on the way up the trail, so that they, the hikers, can find their way back. I suppose the ribbons will have to have tiny solar LEDs attached for the yahoos who like to hike but can't be bothered to take flashlights and who can't grasp the fact that, yes, the sun sets in the evening and before you know it you won't be able to see your hand in front of your face.

a-1534201343 Aug 13, 2018 04:02 PM
Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers

THIS is constructive. Why down vote?! Please respond and explain why this is NOT a good idea.
]=============================================================Great job, Rescue! Really good practice for the next debris flow.

a-1534201586 Aug 13, 2018 04:06 PM
Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers

Why is having boxes full of brightly colored ribbon at trail heads to tie all over nature (and most likely be strewn about) a bad idea? Hmmmmmmm......

LosPadresForest Aug 13, 2018 07:06 AM
Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers

There are no hiking trails around Miranda Pine. Hunting season started on Saturday so the logical theory is that these were not hikers but rather hunters who got lost and dehydrated. Regardless, really cool use of technology and glad they made it home safely.

a-1534170406 Aug 13, 2018 07:26 AM
Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers

"Maybe what needs to happen on these trails is the installation of a box at the beginning of each trail"

There are NO trails at Miranda Pine Campground. Despite what it says, these weren't hikers.

NostraChumash Aug 13, 2018 08:09 AM
Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers

A picture of an Orb-weaver spider,
& the notice that;
"You will be walking through these if you stay til after sunset"..
I bet those hills would be mighty quiet.

a-1534197288 Aug 13, 2018 02:54 PM
Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers

LarryYQ - I sure do. However, based on comments by many of the posters here lately, your comment could easily be genuine.

Concerned4Calif Aug 13, 2018 09:52 AM
Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers

I am confused by the picture. Who / what is looking down on the helicopter to take the picture of the helicopter from above? Was there a drone or another helicopter? Is it a satellite picture?

a-1534179745 Aug 13, 2018 10:02 AM
Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers

Exactly. You're not seeing things, you're just smart enough to consider point of view. (POV) So what's looking down on the helicopter? Rescue units NEVER fly above each other like that, do they? Why does the guy on the ground appear to have binoculars? One answer is, this was a training exercise sold as "lost hikers. How were they lost? What were there names? How much money was wasted in this excursion?

RoadsTech Aug 13, 2018 10:33 AM
Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers

Look at the photo and read the tweet. Sheriff copter 2, with night vision is taking video and photos of Fire copter 308, the one with the hoist, doing the rescue.

oceandrew Aug 13, 2018 04:47 PM
Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers

Only one person being hoisted should be a clue that they are winching the paramedic to the surface to hook up with a rescuee. They don't let rescuees ride solo in case of freakout or panic.

Potif Aug 14, 2018 12:28 AM
Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers

Was mainly referring to the question about how the picture was taken, and also about not seeing anyone on the ground with binoculars. Should have said 'in the hoist' maybe. I know they normally do tandem lifts. However, I have seen videos of people taken off boats one at a time in storms without a 'buddy'. The person hoisted down stayed on the vessel to help harness the other people being rescued. Sometimes the rescuer also helps with a guide line from below.

a-1534227473 Aug 13, 2018 11:17 PM
Night Vision Used to Rescue 5 Lost Hikers

For you folks who may not know this tidbit...those night vision goggles were created right in our own home town by a company named Flir.

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