CORONA – A 13-year-old boy and four adults were rescued by a Riverside Police helicopter after a leisurely Thanksgiving Day hike turned dangerous. At around 1:00 p.m. air support was dispatched to the group of five hikers who were stranded without water in the area of Skyline Ridge trail near the City of Corona. After four hours without water, the 13-year-old hiker was suffering from dehydration and was unable to walk out of the area prompting the 911 call.
Dispatchers collected information regarding the area helping the helicopter to locate them. The had heavy brush and steep terrain causing difficulty reaching the five by ground, foot,and making it impossible to land the helicopter in the area. The 13-year-old was hoist rescued and he was airlifted to an awaiting ground ambulance. The other four hikers, all adults, believed they could make it out on foot so one of the responding helicopters went back to their airport base. The second helicopter remained to ensure the hikers safe departure from the area.
The helicopter followed the hikers, and the crew noticed they were having trouble navigating the heavy brush. The hikers confirmed to dispatchers that they were unable to locate a trail safely and that they needed additional help. A PA system was used to direct the group close to a trail and the air crew landed. The Tactical Flight Officer hiked down from the top to the trail down to the group. The crew decided that the helicopter would fly each person down to the bottom of the mountain due to the risk of dehydration and the exhaustion of the hikers. The hikers were evaluated by CalFire and AMR to be reunited with their families.
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