Dehydrated Hiker

November 16, 2019
Dripping Springs

Written by Tony Hughes

RMRU along with DSSAR were at Hemet-Ryan airport for our twice per year training with Sheriff’s Aviation. We were just getting ready to start a rotation of daytime “hover step” practice when one of the deputies asked who wanted to go on a rescue. Several people volunteered and ultimately it was narrowed down to me. We didn’t have much info other than there was a dehydrated female at Dripping Springs.

We got her coordinates and it turned out she was about 10 miles from the trailhead. She was alone and it was getting close to dusk. Pilot Chad Marlatt, TFO Jerry Osterloh, and I flew to her coordinates and started looking for her from the air. We circled the area for a few minutes and scanned up and down the trail with no luck.

She was wearing all black and blended into the background. She was tossing her backpack in the air to get our attention and Jerry actually spotted her blond hair against the background at a hairpin turn just up trail from the coordinates we received. Chad was able to land very close to her, Jerry opened the door and pulled her inside. We landed at Vail Lake where Cal Fire was waiting to ensure the subject was OK and help her get where she needed to go. After dropping off the subject, we flew back to Hemet-Ryan and continued our training.

RMRU Members Involved: Tony Hughes.

RSO Aviation: Pilot Chad Marlatt and TFO Jerry Osterloh.