Search and Rescue Respond to Two Lost Hikers
Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Search & Rescue (SBCSAR)
SBCSAR team members responded shortly after 2:30pm [Saturday] afternoon to the reports of 2 lost hikers that had also run out of water in the backcountry on the Santa Cruz trail near Little Pine Mountain. Team members quickly organized a response plan which included high clearance 4x4 vehicles and a pair a side-by-side UTVs for quick access from the Upper Oso area of the Santa Ynez River area.
GPS coordinates had been obtained by the emergency dispatch center and were validated by the Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit Copter 2. Having the Copter in the air helped to confirm the location of and make first contact with the subjects via the public address system onboard while also providing trail recon of the area to insert team members onto the trail. The air support on the call was lost when it had to divert to a possible water rescue off Isla Vista.
Team members first met up with California Fish & Wildlife officers who where in the area on patrol and team members made best access to the Santa Cruz Trail via a 350’ trail off the Santa Cruz Jeepway. From this spot, team members hiked 2.5 miles up the trail to the subjects location. Upon arriving at the two subjects, an evaluation of their condition was provided along with water and food. The subjects were in good condition but extremely thirsty having been out of water since mid-late morning when also jettisoning their packs in an attempt to make better time on the trail and to the next water source while enduring the 100°+ temperatures in the area.
Once hydrated and determined to be in a condition to hike down the trail, team members escorted the two subjects to the SAR insertion point on the trail where they were met by additional team members and a rope hand line back up to the SAR vehicles. All teams and the subjects proceeded up the jeep way and back out to the Buckhorn Rd to Upper Oso where the subjects were released at their vehicle.
Teams were back at the station just before 9pm to wash and put equipment away and be ready for the next response.