Multiple Calls Keep Rescuers Busy

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Hiker Dies, Two Others Injured in Fall
An 18-year-old hiker was found dead and two others were transported to the hospital after an afternoon hiking accident.

At about 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Angeles National Forest, a hiker flagged down a passing motorist after climbing up to the roadway. He and two other men, in their late teens, early 20s, were hiking in the area when they slid about 600 feet down a concrete culvert, said Sgt. Debra Herman, Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.

“One hiker climbed up to the roadway and flagged down a Good Samaritan,” Herman said. “One was transported to the hospital by ground [transportation] and the other by [Los Angeles County Sheriff’s] Air Five.”

Montrose Search and Rescue team, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles County Fire along with L.A. Sheriffs responded.

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Lost Boy Scouts Found
At about 8:35 p.m. on Saturday night the Montrose Search and Rescue Team was activated to respond to the Mount Wilson area regarding two Boy Scouts and their leader who had been separated from their group while hiking and were presumed lost.

They were well equipped for the conditions and had planned to camp at a local facility. When they failed to arrive there, staff notified the Sheriff’s Department.

The Search and Rescue Team located the hikers near their last known location in the Mount Wilson area. They had begun to set up camp and had planned to continue their hike during daylight. They were all in good health and all decided to continue camping for the night. Only one of the boys decided to walk out of the area with the Rescue Team and was reunited with his family, according to Lt. Angela Shepherd, Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.

LASD Air-5 Rescues Hikers
A U.S. Forestry Recreation Technician working in the Angeles National Forest noticed several people who appeared to be trapped on a cliff near Altadena and called in rescuers at 11:57 a.m. on Sunday.

By 12:25 p.m., Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Air-5 Rescue pilots and Emergency Services Detail (Special Enforcement Bureau) had rescued a 19-year-old South Pasadena woman who had gone on a day hike with friends and became trapped on a cliff that overlooked a 100-foot drop to a canyon below.

A deputy paramedic was lowered from the helicopter via hoist as it hovered hundreds of feet above Millard Canyon to rescue the woman. She was hoisted up into the helicopter by deputies and flown uninjured to Farnsworth Park, Altadena.

The rescue was videotaped by deputies who were wearing helmet cameras.

“The young woman was very scared and nearly let go of the cliff to jump into the arms of ESD Paramedic Deputy Ricky Hernandez as soon as he was close enough to reach out to her,” said Sheriff’s SEB Sergeant Tom Giandomenico, crew chief of the rescue. “He motioned to her to wait, and was able to attach the safety harness before we hoisted her up into the rescue helicopter. If she had let go before we were ready, she would not have survived the fall.”

Sgt. Giandomenico added, “When we got her into the helicopter it was clear that she was not having fun today and she just wanted to get back onto level ground.”

Meanwhile, two other people were rescued by ground rescuers.

The Sheriff’s Altadena Search and Rescue Team, assisted by Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters from Station 82, used rope lines nearby to assist two day hikers, one a 17-year-old male and the other an 18-year-old female, who were trapped 40 feet above the canyon bottom. It was unsafe for the hikers to climb down and the dirt was too loose above them to climb up.

Deputies and firefighters set up a rope system and provided helmets to the hikers.

Altadena Search and Rescue team reserve deputies then lowered the two people to safety on the canyon floor where, after telling their rescuers how happy they were to see them, all hiked out of the canyon with the deputies, uninjured.

The rescued teens were reunited with a another member of their hiking group, an 18-year old man, who had been able to hike out on his own. All are residents of South Pasadena. The day hikers were all lightly dressed and did not have provisions.

The cliff above Millard canyon is just west of Eaton Canyon in Altadena.

Video of the air rescue has been made available to the news media and will later be loaded onto

Sgt. Tom Giandomenico , Sheriff’s Air-5 Rescue Crew Chief advised, “Always be prepared when you go backcountry hiking and don’t overestimate your abilities. Always tell people where you are going and don’t count on your cellphone to work [while] in nature.”

Enjoy nature – plan your hike by filling out the Sheriff’s Department’s Hiking Plan Sheet:

Air-5 Called to Azusa Canyon
A 14-year old boy managed to get cell phone reception and called 9-1-1 from an Azusa Canyon cliff side Sunday afternoon leading to the deployment of the Sheriff’s San Dimas Search and Rescue Team, and Air-5 Rescue pilots and Emergency Services Detail (Special Enforcement Bureau) paramedic deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department flying in and rescuing a total of four boys, one at a time.

The rescue effort began at 3:40 p.m. when one of the boys called 9-1-1 to report he and his friends were on a cliff and needed to be rescued.

Reserve deputies with the San Dimas Search and Rescue team quickly deployed to the area and, using binoculars, spotted the four boys on a mountainside north of Azusa near Garcia Canyon Trail, off of Highway 39, Azusa Canyon.

The four boys, all Azusa residents, were trapped on the mountainside. The steep terrain was made worse by the loose rocks that would cause them to fall if they tried to climb up or climb down. Also, if one boy were to fall, he could knock others off the cliff as well. This also kept ground rescuers from reaching them.

The ground rescuers called in Sheriff’s Air-5 Rescue who arrived quickly on scene. LASD ESD Paramedic Deputy Rickey Hernandez was lowered from the helicopter by a hoist as it hovered 300 to 500 feet above Azusa Canyon to rescue the boys. By 4:50 p.m. the boys were safely inside the LASD Air-5 rescue helicopter.

“Those boys were really scared on that cliff. You could see the fear in their faces,” said Sheriff’s SEB Sergeant Tom Giandomenico, crew chief of the rescue. “Pilot Deputies Scott Osborne and Mark Burnett repeatedly positioned the aircraft into place, and one by one, we lowered Paramedic Deputy Hernandez down with the hoist and brought them one at a time into the aircraft.

“Once they were safely in the aircraft, they were all smiles and thank yous and started saying how much better the helicopter was than video games,” said Sergeant Giandomenico. “We later learned they had gone hiking and gotten lost between two mountain ridges. They were wearing shorts and T-shirts with no hiking equipment. They clearly were not prepared where they ended up.

The flight crew landed at a park in Azusa where the boys were picked up by the mother of one of the boys. They were not injured.

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