Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Late Hiker


Source: Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue

Trail Rescue 11/14/21 – Shortly before 6 p.m. last night, Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue responded to a report of a late hiker on the Cold Spring Trail, crews were dispatched to check the trailheads for the hiker’s vehicle. Teams were unable to locate the vehicle and, through investigation, it was determined the hiker had returned home. While that first call was being resolved, around 6:15 p.m. SBCSAR received an additional and separate call from a stranded hiker on the Cathedral Peak Trail.

SBCSAR quickly diverted teams already in the field to answer the tunnel trailhead to begin the search for the hiker. The SAR teams were joined by SB Co. Fire Engine 15 and coordinated a plan to ascend, locate and assist the hiker. En route to the trail, teams learned that a family member of the hiker was also on the trail trying to reach the distressed hiker, the family member was contacted by crews in the creek at the junction of the trail for Inspiration Point and Cathedral Peak trails and encouraged to return to the Operation Staging Area.

Teams ascended the trail and a SBCSAR drone with a thermal imaging FLIR camera was launched to search for the trail system from above to help locate the hiker. While this was happening, the creek crews made voice contact with the subject in the Upper Seven Falls area, the UAV confirmed the location of the hiker and a SAR ground crew from above the falls. contacted the subject. Ground crews assessed the hiker for possible injuries, provided water, food, a headlamp, warm clothing, and made an exit plan to get the hiker to the trailhead. The hiker was taken out and assessed by AMR then released and taken into his vehicle.

SBCSAR would like to remind hikers that some of our trails can be difficult to navigate and our mountainous terrain is misleading when it comes to hiking ability. Please also take a fully charged phone or a way to recharge if needed as hiking apps quickly use up battery, water, food, additional clothing and lighting as you may be away for longer than expected, as was the case last night.


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