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Search & Rescue

Helicopter conducts a night vision rescue of injured hiker

October 17, 2017

BIG BEAR, Calif – On Wednesday, October 11 at about 8:12 p.m. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s helicopter 40King1, with crew of Pilot Deputy Doug Brimmer, Crew Chief Sergeant San Futscher and Tactical Flight Officer Corporal Ed Leon, responded to the Castle Rock area after being notified of a hiker (a 17-year-old male from Apple Valley) who had slid off a large rock onto a cliff.

The hiker was stuck on the cliff and was unable to get to safety. The crew of 40King1 located the hiker using GPS coordinates through a friend’s cell phone.

The crew determined that a night vision hoist rescue was needed to get the hiker off the steep cliff. Sgt. Futscher lowered Cpl. Leon down to the hiker using the helicopter’s external hoist. Once on the ground, Leon placed the victim into a rescue harness and he was hoisted up to the helicopter. The victim was flown to Big Bear Airport, treated by San Bernardino County Fire personnel for complaints of pain and released to his guardian.

Hikers are encouraged to always be prepared when hiking in the mountains, higher altitudes or the high desert. No matter the weather, anticipate the unexpected and pack the appropriate clothes for snow, cold and rain.

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