Hikers rescued on Cold Springs Trail

Rescued subjects being escorted down the Cold Springs Trail. This image was taken with a specially designed infrared camera on loan from the FLIR Corporation for Search and Rescue missions.

Santa Barbara- Members of the Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue Team were paged out Sunday night to help locate and rescue two hikers from the frigid weather after the pair got lost in Cold Springs Canyon above Montecito.

The man and woman, who are in their 20's and live in the Santa Barbara area, had started hiking with two other friends around 4:30 pm Sunday afternoon, February 27, 2011. After a while, the group separated, with one pair going up the trail and the other pair hiking up Cold Springs Creek. As the sun was setting, the pair hiking in the creek bed found themselves without light and without a good path to follow.

Using their cell phone, they were briefly able to contact Santa Barbara County Emergency Dispatch to request help getting down before their signal was lost. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Deputies responded and located the subjects' vehicle at the trailhead and requested the all volunteer Search and Rescue Team to respond.

Soon after, the other two hikers came down the trail and provided details of their hike and approximately the last point they saw their friends. Upon arriving, Search and Rescue members inserted several ground teams to begin a search of the area based on the information the deputies had obtained.

While searching along the Cold Springs West Fork Trail, one of the SAR teams heard whistles down in the creek bed and followed the noise. They were soon able to locate the two missing hikers who had wet feet and had become cold in the frigid night air, but otherwise were in good condition.

After providing additional clothing and lights, the SAR teams helped the two back up to the trail and back to the trailhead on Mountain Drive where they were evaluated by SAR EMTs and released without any further treatment.

For further information about this call or The Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue Team, contact Team PIO Nelson Trichler at 805-698-0752.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office


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