Stranded Hikers

December 27, 2015
Hills above Corona

Written by Dana Potts

In the late evening hours of December 27th, 2015, a male and a female hiker had called 9-1-1 to report that they had become lost off of a trail in south Corona. Darkness had fallen and the only light source they had with them were their cellular phones. The couple did have water and some snacks with them, however they were not dressed for overnight temperatures. Initially, a helicopter from the Riverside Police Department located the two south of Upper Drive. Once it was established that the two could not hike out of their location and local resources in Corona could not get to them, RMRU was called.

While this was occurring, team member Dana Potts was watching the event unfold as it was occurring within view of his house in south Corona. Dana was called and advised that he was needed to attempt a hoist rescue of the two. An additional helicopter crew was called in to conduct the mission. Within a few hours, Dana was picked up by the RSO helicopter in a field near the location and flown over the two subjects. RSO lowered Dana down to the two and backed away while Dana checked the two for any medical complications. After it was quickly established that they were physically able to be hoisted, RSO moved in and hoisted the two up to the warmth and safety of the airship. They were flown a short distance to the Deputy Sheriff awaiting their arrival.

The airship then returned to get Dana. This rescue was a collaborative effort between the 9-1-1 system, the Riverside Police Department, Riverside Sheriff's Department and the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit. Lastly, without the technical skills of the Riverside Sheriff's Departments Air Crew to safely and expeditiously perform their duties the couple would have spent additional hours in the field. The air program and its highly trained crews constantly perform these missions at night using night vision flying in mountain environments with unpredictable conditions.

RMRU Members Involved: Dana Potts.

Riverside Sheriff’s Office: Sheriff’s Aviation.