Hikers Rescued by County Air Support and Search and Rescue Crews
Guadalupe- October 11th, 2012
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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