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Search & Rescue

Helicopter Rescues Hikers from Snow Packed Ridge After They Deploy Emergency GPS

January 28, 2017

MOUNT BALDY, Calif – On Wednesday, January 25 at about 2:30 p.m., the victims, Sally Morley (age 61 of Temecula) and Ellen Coleman (age 63 of Riverside) were hiking down a snow packed ridgeline into San Antonio Canyon at the 8500 foot level. Despite having appropriate snow hiking gear, they realized the terrain was too steep and the snow was turning to ice.

They were unable to climb out from their location and were in need of assistance. The victims used their GPS devices and activated the emergency distress signals.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s patrol helicopter 40King4 (Pilot Sergeant Dan Futscher and Tactical Flight Officer Deputy Paul Kowalski) was dispatched to the location in an attempt to locate the victims. They immediately located them at the end of a steep ridge. Due to the circumstances and elevation, Air Rescue 307 helicopter, which was staffed with Sheriff and Fire personnel, was dispatched to assist in rescue efforts.

Air Rescue 307 responded to the location to conduct a hoist rescue. Pilot Corporal Jon Anderson hovered over the victims, while Crew Chief Deputy Ed Leon lowered Firefighter Spencer Brumbaugh down on the hoist, 100 feet to the victims. Brumbaugh contacted both victims and placed them into rescue harnesses. Deputy Leon hoisted both victims individually into the aircraft, followed by Brumbaugh. The victims were flown to Cow Canyon Saddle and were released to personnel on scene.

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