Search Altadena

July 4-8, 2023
Forest above Altadena

Written by Steven Rider.

On Monday July 3rd RMRU was notified there was an OES mission and Altadena Mountain Rescue had requested assistance to locate a 65-year-old male Los Angeles County resident who was last seen July 1st.

Climbing over the brush sometimes
Searching in brush and sun

The request was for members to report to the briefing on the morning of July 4th. Four members of RMRU (Eric, Tobias, Steven, and Ray) assisted in the search on this day. The team of four was inserted by helicopter to a prominent peak in the area. Our assignment was to follow the ridgeline down and work our way to a ravine where we encountered technical terrain. The team searched as we navigated the terrain until we reached our exit point and were picked up by vehicle.

Searcher decending another water problem

Written by: Vinay Rao.

On Wednesday, July 5th, three team members, (Vinay, James, and Kase) responded for the fifth day of the search. We were assigned a search area between Brown Mountain and Wella’s Peak. The subject was presumed to have traversed this ridgeline since he had been seen on a camera in the area. Our objective was to search the north side of the ridge, dropping down up to 100 feet down the ridge. The area was chosen with the thought that the subject, known to like to bushwhack, may have tried to descend to Arroyo Creek to get water.

Thick brush must be searched
Open ridge search area

The area was densely covered with high grass, large bushes (including poison oak), and poodle bush making the search rather difficult. We saw no signs, tracks, downed branches, etc. that indicated that the subject had entered the area.

After completing our initial assignment, we were asked to hike down an OHV road and search up a few gullies, in the event the subject had managed to downclimb them. No evidence of the subject was found in this area and the team was extracted via vehicle to the CP.

Searchers repelling down water running canyon

Written by Steven Rider.

On Saturday July 8th, six members of RMRU (Blake, James, Tobias, Steven, Tyler, and Ray) assisted in the search. The three teams were inserted by helicopter to two separate drop in points. We worked on our search assignments throughout the day in steep, technical terrain and dense vegetation. We reached our extraction points at the end of the day and returned to CP to debrief.

James in rocky search area
Searchers going down canyon sometimes into the water

By the Editor. The missing man was found deceased on July 24th, our condolences to the family of Albert Zisook. The search area was demanding and challenging for all SAR teams as you can see by the photos.

RMRU Members Involved: (Kase Chong, Blake Douglas, James Eckhardt, Matt Frenken, Eric Holden, Tobias Moyneur, Vinay Rao, Steven Rider, Tyler Shumway, and Ray Weden)

Other Agencies Involved: (Many other SAR teams from Southern California and other agencies)