Three Hikers Rescued Near Tangerine Falls

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Three Hikers Rescued Near Tangerine Falls
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Update by Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

At approximately 2:00 p.m., on May 16, 2019, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team (SBCSAR) was deployed to Tangerine Falls in the Montecito area to a report of three lost hikers stuck on the side of a cliff. The three local women in their early twenties were attempting to hike to the top of Tangerine Falls by way of an adjoining gulley when they took a wrong turn and found themselves stranded on the side of a cliff approximately 300 feet above the creek. Not able to safely climb down, they called 911 for help. Using GPS locating software and the subjects cell phone, members of the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team were able to pinpoint the location of the stranded hikers.

After hiking up the canyon, a mountain rescue technical rescue team climbed up the rock face to reach the women where they set up rope anchors and rappelled them down to safety. They were then escorted out by SBCSAR members and reached the trailhead at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Many of the SBCSAR team members had been up since 3 a.m. that day when they were deployed to the call of an overdue aircraft. They worked tirelessly all day navigating challenging terrain to reach the deceased pilot to perform the recovery and hoist him out of the area with the assistance of a Santa Barbara County Sheriff/Fire Air Support Unit helicopter. As they were wrapping up that call, they were called out to help the lost hikers.

Thank you to our amazing Search and Rescue team. This group of professionally trained VOLUNTEERS provide an important service to our community. We are so lucky to have this resource in Santa Barbara County. A day like yesterday is a prime example of the important work they do for our community.

To learn more about our world class Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team go to their website at www.sbcsar.net. On the website you will find a great list of hiking tips.


The photo is of SBCSAR member Miguel Zepeda rappelling stranded hiker off cliff face near Tangerine Falls.

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a-1558326692 May 17, 2019 09:51 PM
Three Hikers Rescued Near Tangerine Falls

MTN.DRIVER. That's funny. As I was reading the report just now I was thinking "So glad they spelled 'rappelled' correctly." Then I see your comment. Haha.

All Sides May 17, 2019 01:53 PM
Three Hikers Rescued Near Tangerine Falls

Is it my imagination, or have there been more people in need of rescue from poor hiking decisions in the last two years than normal? And are they being billed for the rescue operation's expenses?

All Sides May 18, 2019 08:58 AM
Three Hikers Rescued Near Tangerine Falls

@Silly- When Search and Rescue rolls, it costs money. Which increases their budget. Which increases taxes. I would rather that that tax money be used for the new helicopter than rescuing nitwits who fall off of cliffs or don't watch their backtrail. And I did not see any flames in the picture. And I did not vote on your comment.

Factotum May 18, 2019 08:53 AM
Three Hikers Rescued Near Tangerine Falls

Fire and police services are mutually contracted between taxpayers and purveyors of these services. Search and Rescue are volunteers So no, they are not the same. Ask taxpayers if they want to also fund hiker folly, as well as public safety fire and law enforcement

a-1558326692 May 17, 2019 09:56 PM
Three Hikers Rescued Near Tangerine Falls

ALL SIDES: It's not your imagination. And the fun has only just begun. This summer you will read of many more "rescues" where novice (being kind here) hikers lose their way (sometimes in groups of five), become injured, forget to take water, eschew taking along outerlayer clothing, don't own a flashlight but intrepidly set out for their hike in late afternoon, etc. etc. It's a miracle my teenage friends and I survived these trails all those many years ago. What WERE we thinking, to go off into such a dangerous wilderness?

a-1558326692 May 17, 2019 02:02 PM
Three Hikers Rescued Near Tangerine Falls

Why would they be billed for something that is paid for by our taxes? That's like asking if people have to pay for firefighters who save them from burning homes. Silly.

behm.jason@gmail May 17, 2019 08:52 AM
Three Hikers Rescued Near Tangerine Falls

I’m glad they’re okI grew up in Sb in the 70s& 80s when those same trails were barely visible, no problems on those front country trails...Its these baby boomers offspring not so sharp when it comes to common sense.... I choose my kids over some career, hiking , biking, surfing, and teaching them the outdoors...

a-1558326692 May 17, 2019 11:40 PM
Three Hikers Rescued Near Tangerine Falls

Maybe what is different now is cell phones? It seems people head out with the mind set that if anything goes wrong they can just call for help?

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