Hikers rescued by helicopter after woman collapses from dehydration near Salton Sea

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Saturday, June 15, 2024
Helicopter crews rescue hikers near Salton Sea in extreme heat
The hiking couple had run out of water as temperatures were climbing and the woman collapsed from dehydration.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- A day hike ended with a dramatic rescue by a search-and-rescue crew with the Riverside County Sheriff's Office of Aviation.

"One of the hikers, a female hiker was down, appeared to be dehydrated and they were deep in the canyon and needed some help." said Deputy Manny Romero.

Romero was co-piloting the H41-45 Airbus helicopter Sunday around 5 p.m. when they were called out after the woman's boyfriend contacted 911.

The couple had been hiking in an area known as Painted Canyon near the Salton Sea.

"We usually get calls there this time of year because of the excessive heat, probably a couple times a week at least," said Deputy Romero.

The rescue crew hoisted up the boyfriend first, followed by the victim who was semi-conscious. She was eventually taken to the nearby hospital.

The temperature in the area at the time had reached the triple digits which overwhelmed the couple who ran out of water.

"Generally for every hour that you hike you want to have about a liter of water," said Romero.

The warning comes as the inland region will see temperatures to soar into the 100s in some areas.

The hot weather has fire officials preparing for wildfires after heavy winter rains produced a bumper crop of lush vegetation.

"Unfortunately, this vegetation will soon dry out and become fuel for wildland fires," said Los Angeles County Fire Chief Anthony Marrone.

Fire officials from across the region came together to provide their outlook on potential wildfires and how best to respond.

"Should there be another Woolsey Fire - something where hundreds of engines are needed right now - the agencies have agreed by phone call, fire chief to fire chief, that we will send whatever resources we need and get them on the road within minutes," said Chief Brian Fennessy with Orange County Fire Authority.