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Search & Rescue

Two hikers spend night on mountain after getting lost followed by helicopter rescue

April 24, 2017

YUCAIPA RIDGE, Calif On Saturday, April 22 at 7:49 p.m. San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dispatch received a 911 call from the victim Agustin Gutierrez (age 40 of Riverside) stating that he and Martin Gutierrez (age 51 also from Riverside) were stuck on Yucaipa Ridge after getting lost while hiking.

The sheriff's desert patrol helicopter 40King2 responded to the area and located Gutierrez and Martinez in steep rocky terrain surrounded by snow and ice at the approximate 8,500 foot level. The crew observed both Gutierrez and Martinez to be uninjured but unable to continue further due to the treacherous terrain and darkness.

Due to darkness and the conditions observed, the crew decided a nighttime hoist rescue would be too dangerous and requested search and rescue teams respond. The crew made contact with Gutierrez over the helicopter's public address system and determined they were prepared to stay overnight while rescue crews made their way to them.

After responding to the area, Angeles Oaks Resident Deputy Paul Franklin deployed multiple search and rescue teams onto the mountain in an attempt to reach Gutierrez and Martinez. The teams were unfortunately forced to cancel their attempt upon reaching areas of snow, ice and steep cliff faces. A decision was made to attempt a helicopter hoist rescue at first light the following morning.

On Sunday, April 23 at approximately 6:00 a.m. a second sheriff's helicopter crew in 40King3 returned to the area and quickly relocated Gutierrez and Martinez. The crew hoisted rescue personnel down to Gutierrez and Martinez. Both were placed into rescue harnesses, hoisted up to the helicopter and transported to sheriff's personnel nearby.

Both Gutierrez and Martinez were found to be uninjured but seen by medical personnel as a precaution.

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