Teen Boys Lost Above Corona

November 26-27, 2011
Santa Ana Mountains above Corona

Written by Patrick McCurdy

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, two teen boys set out on a hike in the Santa Ana Mountains above Corona. At about 7 p.m. they phoned home to say they would be an hour late. At 8 p.m. they phoned 911 and said they were lost.

RMRU was called out to search for the boys. Two search teams were out all night searching the steep, rugged, terrain but there was no sign of the missing hikers. Though temperatures were quite moderate for the time of year, winds complicated the search as they make it hard to hear someone calling for help. More RMRU members arrived Sunday morning and further field assignments were started. Two team members who had worked through the night on the search went out again at daybreak. USFS personnel joined in the search, both on foot and on ATVs.

Late in the morning some search teams were flown back in from the field by Riverside County Sheriff’s Star 9, which then took RMRU member Dana Potts up as an observer. Within 30 minutes the helicopter spotted the boys, apparently unharmed, above a steep ridge. The boys were told to hike uphill to a point where the helicopter could set down and pick them up. A five minute flight brought them back to the Incident Command Post tired, hungry, but seemingly no worse for their ordeal.

See video of the boys being flown to the command post

RMRU team members present: Steve Bryant, Paul Caraher, Carlos Carter, Joe Erickson, Kim Jordan, Michael George, Donny Goetz, Alan Lovegreen, Chad Marler, Rob May, Roger May, Patrick McCurdy, Kelly McDole, Nick Nixon, Dana Potts, Jeri Sanchez, Brad Scott, Ty Whittersheim, and Gwenda Yates.

Command post technical assistance: Dalton Potts.

Star 9 aircrew pilots: Chad Marlatt and Juvien Galzote.

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