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Search & Rescue

Two People Require Helicopter Rescue After Going Off Trail

June 14, 2016

MOUNT BALDY, Calif – On Monday, June 13 at 12:35 PM, Joshua Scarth and Alexa Nakashimada were on a hike near the San Antonio Falls area of Mt. Baldy, when they decided to leave the trail and climb up on extremely steep and unstable terrain. They eventually became stuck at the 8700 foot level in a steep area with loose shale. The two could not climb up or down and began to call for help to hikers on the Devil's Backbone trail. Multiple hikers than contacted 911.

At approximately 12:35PM, members of the San Bernardino County Sheriff - Fontana Sheriff’s Station, along with Sheriff’s helicopter 40King4, were dispatched to search for the victims. When pilot Lieutenant Mitch Dattilo and Pilot Deputy Brad Heard arrived on scene, they located both victims on the cliff and determined the victims needed a hoist rescue.

Joshua Scarth (age 22 of Washington State) was stuck in a chute on loose shale and unable to move. Sheriff’s Air Rescue 306 (AR306), with a crew of Pilot Deputy Ryan Conner, Crew Chief Sergeant Daniel Futscher, SBCFD Captain Jack Dejong, and Air Medics Diem Ho and William Villegas responded to the location. The crew of AR306 rigged for a pick-off hoist and responded to the location. Once on scene, Deputy Conner brought the helicopter into a hover approximately 200’ above Scarth, in order to keep the rotor wash from pushing him down the chute. Futscher lowered Ho on the hoist down until she was able to reach him and secure him with a Hasty Harness. Just before she reached Scarth, Ho realized he had a small dog with him and yelled for him to secure the dog in the backpack he was wearing, which he did. Conner then slowly moved the helicopter until Ho came into contact with Scarth and immediately placed a Hasty Harness around him. As soon as the harness was affixed, Ho and Scarth were safely hoisted up 200’ into the aircraft.

Alexa Nakashimada (age 20 of Azusa) was stuck on a small plateau 10' above where Scarth had been. Futscher lowered Ho to Nakashimada, and due to the stability of the plateau, Ho placed Nakashimada into a Bauman Screamer Suit. Once secured, Ho and Nakashimada were hoisted the 200' back into the aircraft.

The helicopter transported Scarth and Nakashimada to Fontana Station.

The Sheriff’s Department would like to remind hikers to stay on the trail while hiking in the local mountains.

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