press release - 03141602

Four Lost Teenage Hikers from Santa Maria Rescued


Santa Maria - March 14th, 2016

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SBCSAR) team members worked overnight on March 14, 2016, to rescue four lost teenage hikers in the Point Sal Beach/Mussel Point area west of Santa Maria.  The 17-year-old males were on a late afternoon hike with a father of one of the teenagers when he had to hike back.  The father waited for them and spoke to the teenagers several times via cell phone.  The teens communicated that they were heading back but were safe.  At approximately 8:00 p.m. the teenagers called the State Beach Park Ranger and reported that they were lost.  They had flashlights but were not prepared to stay overnight. 


The Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team was deployed and responded to the area.  Team members used Search and Rescue phone technology to locate the GPS coordinates of one of the hiker’s cell phones.  Due to the pitch darkness, the dense fog and muddy conditions, locating the teens was challenging.  SBCSAR sent three specialty vehicles up the road and hiked the rest of the way to the location. 


Just before 3:00 a.m. the hikers were found.  They were cold but otherwise unharmed and in good condition. The teens were provided with warm clothing and were medically evaluated.  Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team members then hiked the teens out to the main trail and drove them back to the trail head.  At approximately 4:30 a.m. they were returned safely to their parents at the trail head.


SBCSAR training includes off-road driving and locating lost hikers even in situations such as this one where there is poor visibility and slick, muddy conditions. Their training, navigation and team work played a major role in this successful rescue.


SBCSAR is looking for new members to join its team and is holding a recruitment meeting this Wednesday, March 16 at 6:00 p.m. at 66 S. San Antonio Road in Santa Barbara.   If you are interested in joining this elite team and serving your community in this way, you are encouraged to come to the meeting.  For more information on SBCSAR, go to





For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover


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