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Sheriff's Dept.: Three Separate Rescues in One Hour

Authorities rescued hikers in need of help in relatively close proximity over a week ago and in quick succession.

Helicopter rescue crew deputies really received a workout July 13 as they rescued three hikers, two injured and one stranded, in the course of an hour.

The was initiated at 1 p.m. July 13 with the report that a male hiker from Pasadena who reportedly fell 80 feet to the bottom of Eaton Falls, north of Altadena. Receiving moderate trauma injuries, the hiker was flown out by Sheriff's Air Rescue 5.

Almost immediately after the Pasadena man was rescued, a second hiker was seen perched precariously on a cliff in Eaton Canyon, officials said. The hiker faced a 150-foot drop below. The hiker was allegedly unable to move. A rescue air deputy was lowered from the helicopter to the stranded hiker, also a resident of Pasadena.

The stranded hiker was secured and lifted to safety.

With both parties lifted into the helicopter, authorities transported the injured to an area hospital for treatment.

While at the hospital delivering the trauma victim, Air Rescue 5 was notified of a hiker who reportedly fell over 60 feet, this time in the Chantry Flats Campground area at the base of Hermit Falls above Arcadia. A deputy paramedic was lowered down to the victim, a resident of Moorpark, he was treated at the scene and taken to an area hospital.

"As the summer temperatures begin to rise more and more people are utilizing the forest for recreation. Please, Hike Safely and Don't Hike Beyond Your Abilities and Equipment," officials said in a press release.

Chris July 22, 2012 at 05:40 PM
This is absolutely a waste of our resources. Whenever I hear that Sikorsky it pisses me off as I know some idiot went somewhere he wasn't supposed to go. I didn't say she because women are generally smarter when it comes to hiking where you're not supposed to.
Charles D July 22, 2012 at 06:32 PM
I've read the county purchased 3 lightly used helicopters to replace rescue 5. When will they be put into service?
Otis July 22, 2012 at 06:37 PM
I've brought up the same concern Chris. Although I would temper that by saying that some rescues are necessary and truly emergencies (automobile / motorcycle accidents, someone having a heart attack, injury to a hiker based on no fault of their own, etc.). But it is the "victim at fault" rescues that I agree with you on. And, even though I don’t know the details of these three cases, they each sound like the hiker was attempting to access areas they shouldn’t have been trying to access, nor did they have the skills to successfully navigate their “adventure”. Those folks should be given a hefty bill to pay for their rescue. Lots of other places do this. I know someone who got hurt riding their ATV at Pismo. An accident, at no fault of hers, but the County sent her a $10,000 bill for the airlift to the hospital. She is straight shooter and knew it was her responsibility to pay the bill (better $10,000 then left on the sand to die, right?). Regardless, if you look through past posts on air rescues, you'll see people always accuse me of trying to take jobs away from the Sheriffs and the unpaid SAR teams when I bring up this subject. That logic is crazy, and a total misinterpretation of what I am saying. We still need the rescue teams and helicopters, but we also need people to be RESPONSIBLE and ACCOUNTABLE for their own actions!
Bob Musselman July 23, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Last August my wife and hiked up Eaton Canyon to the falls and I saw several young men climbing up the canyon wall, totally clueless, without equipment, one in sandals, already slipping and stumbling, and they hadn't reached the hard parts yet. They clearly didn't realize the the climb down would be harder than the way up because they wouldn't be able to locate footholds as easily as the way up. I told my wife, thinking I was exaggerating "one of those guys is going get killed." I considered calling 911 in hopes that they could be deterred, but I had no service in the canyon. We completed our easy hike up to the bottom of the falls and returned home. It was a few hours later that the Patch reported that a young man had fallen to his death in Eaton Canyon that very morning. Should or could I have done more? Had I made the call before anyone got hurt would a proactive response by the Sheriff been warranted? I doubt it, otherwise they would be making 200 flights a year to Eaton instead of the current 100+. But I do question whether there should be a restriction on climbing above those falls. Such a restriction would be limited to that particular area because it attracts so many novices who, on a whim, decide to turn a "walk in the park" into a dangerous adventure, at the expense of the public.
Tim Macias July 23, 2012 at 08:14 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4URKLYEPK0 I fond this PSA on youtube done by County Fire and Sherifs. There's ton's of other videos on youtube showing and telling people about the second water fall.
C. Norris July 25, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Otis, their all heading to the 2nd water fall in Eaton Cny. If you ever go up there all you will see is trash on trash on grafetti. No respect.
C. Norris July 26, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Tim, it's also here on the patch. You should read some of the comments about the PSA. You will be amazed on some of the comments about how safe it is for persons to go up there. Amazed.
Huntington City July 29, 2012 at 11:52 AM
LASD will have 3 Super Puma helos to take over as Air 5, supposed to be August, but behind schedule. Crews are being trained in Canada as we speak.
Peter Wilson July 31, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Chris, I have to object to this comment. As others have mentioned, there are other genuine reasons the emergency services such as Air Rescue 5 are critical. After a series of unfortunate mechanical issues to my friends mountain bike, that no amount of preparedness or spares could prevent, we found ourselves on-foot deep in the hills. We had enough water and food, but after 8 hours of exposure we were feeling under pressure with another several hours on foot to descend down into Monrovia. We found some cell phone reception and called in our location and that we were under pressure. Air Rescue 5 located us an hour later and the paramedic who rappelled down made the decision to bring us off the mountain. I'm very grateful they came by and spared us another few agonizing hours of exposure. I can't explain to you the list of unfortunate punctures, tire and tube failures, we had to the same wheel that exhausted all our repair options left us basically on foot. I'm a rider and a racer having accumulated over 1300 miles and 260,000 vertical ft this year on the mountain bike, most of which in the San Gabriels. Not everyone who finds themselves in a difficult situation is the idiot in sneakers who climbs the Eaton Canyon waterfall and gets it wrong.
Bob Musselman July 31, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Peter is spot on. Experienced bikers and hikers who take appropriate precautions and still find themselves in a bind is what Air Rescue 5 should be all about. It's a really difficult decision to call for help when you think you may self-sufficient but aren't sure and time is running out. But less costly than waiting until you are in extremis. Good decision.
Huntington City August 01, 2012 at 07:55 AM
Air 5 crews are trained for alot more than mountain rescues. They are vital for SWAT, counter terrorism, homeland security, offshore rescues etc. (They even brought Michael Jackson from body UCLA to the Coroners Office)
Gabhlan August 14, 2012 at 04:32 AM
I'm with Otis. Bill the foolish few that gobble up our limited resources. Cite the offenders and have the courts determine the appropriate penalties..

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