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Search & Rescue

Helicopter rescue of Claremont man who spent night stranded on Mt. San Gorgonio

May 2, 2017

SAN GORGONIO MOUNTAIN, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif – On Sunday, April 30 at approximately 4:50 p.m., deputies were notified of a lost hiker who started his hike along the Vivian Creek Trail on Mt. San Gorgonio. At Approximately 6:50 p.m. the victim was located off the trail, approximately 1.3 miles South of San Gorgonio Peak. Several attempts were made by Air Rescue 308 helicopter and 40K6 helicopter to hoist the victim out, but due to high winds, the hoist was unsuccessful. 40K6 also attempted to drop a Search & Rescue bag with equipment and supplies to the victim; however, the victim was unable to retrieve the rescue bag.

At 8:00 p.m., search and rescue (S&R) ground teams were dispatched to the area and began hiking to the victim. At approximately 4:00 a.m. the next day, two S&R members reached the victim, who was alive, but suffering from the cold, disoriented, and complaining of pain to a lower extremity. The S&R team was unable to hike the victim from the location, as they were “ledged out” and the only egress was over the top of Mt. San Gorgonio.

At 5:00 a.m., Air Rescue 307 was requested to perform a first light launch, to perform a hoist rescue of the victim and the two S&R members. At approximately 7:40 a.m., Air Rescue 307 was able to hoist a San Bernardino County Fire Department Fire Captain to the victim who assessed his medical condition and provided aid. It was determined that the victim was in a condition to be hoisted via a rescue harness. The Fire Captain, the victim, and S&R members were hoisted from the location and flown to safety. The victim was ultimately transported to a local area hospital for observation.

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