Stranded Hikers Rescued
By Rosana Clarkson
Jul 25, 2012 - 9:36:18 PM
MALIBU—On July 22, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported that three young hikers who were stranded in a canyon in Malibu were rescued by members of the Sheriff's Malibu Search and Rescue Team (S.A.R.) after a strenuous seven-hour effort.
The operation began late in the evening on July 19 in a secluded area below Malibu Canyon Road. The rescue was successful by 5:30 a.m. the following morning.
The hikers were part of a group of friends who were hiking in the Ridge Dam area 600 feet below Malibu Canyon Road in Malibu when they became separated at a certain point; however, two of the hikers were able to use unpaved trails to leave the canyon and report their friends' plight to the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff Station's deputies.
The L.A.C.S.D. Malibu Search and Rescue Team, assisted by Los Angeles County Fire Department officials, arrived at the scene; after a L.A.C.F.D. helicopter searched the area, it was decided that performing an air evacuation would be risky due to the darkness of the hour.
Malibu rescue crews prepared a technical rope retrieval system while four of the crew members remained on Malibu Canyon Road to operate the equipment. Meanwhile, four fire officials administered rapelling over the side of the Malibu Canyon Road.
The three hikers, a 19-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man of Hollywood, and a 26-year-old man of West Hollywood, were winched to a stable area and escorted to safety by rescuers. L.A.C.F.D. medical staff rendered treatment to the hikers, none of whom were found to be with serious injuries; however, the woman suffered a minor injury for which she decided to seek her own treatment.
Sheriff's Reserve Sergeant David Katz, of the Malibu Search and Rescue Team, stated, "Members of this hiking party were able to seek help, were safely rescued and only one of the five hikers suffered an injury. However, others have not been so fortunate. Sadly, during the last six months, Malibu Search and Research Team members have responded to the dam on two other occasions, each time retrieving the body of a hiker who had suffered fatal injuries."
A video of the precarious overnight rescue is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OWSn2wWJZo&list=UUlrCXRurpUlzY7gt7AUJPSw&index=1&feature=plpp_video.
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