press release - 04031601

Missing Dirt Bike Rider Rescued


Missing Dirt Bike Rider Rescued

Missing Avid Dirt Bike Rider Rescued in La Brea Canyon


Santa Maria - April 3rd, 2016


Santa Barbara County Sheriff, Fire and Aviation personnel joined forces today, April 3, 2016, to locate and rescue a missing dirt bike rider who was last seen around 4:00 p.m. last night.  The 38-year-old Santa Maria resident, an avid dirt bike rider, went to the area of Miranda Pines and Pine Canyon Trail in the U.S. National Forest to prepare for an upcoming ride. U.S. Forest Service personnel responded to assist as well.  When he did not return by nightfall, his family and friends became very concerned for his well-being and went to the area to search for him.  When they were not able to locate him and did not hear from him, they called 9-1-1 at approximately 1:45 a.m. this morning to report him missing.


Just before 2:00 a.m., Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area of 600 Tepesquet Road near Santa Maria to meet with worried family and friends of the missing dirt bike rider and to coordinate a search effort.  Family members relayed that the dirt bike rider was a former Marine and survivor specialist who was familiar with the area and likely had emergency supplies but no food.  The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SBCSAR) team was deployed at 2:30 a.m. this morning and began responding to the area.  At approximately 4:30 a.m., field teams were assigned various trails and back country roads and began searching for the missing man.


Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team members looked in areas where the dirt bike rider was known to frequent and ride.  They utilized their specialized Search and Rescue off road vehicles including their Razors.  Santa Barbara County Air Support was deployed but due to heavy fog Copter 2 could not begin flying the area until approximately 9:30 a.m. this morning.


Search and Rescue volunteers located dirt bike tracks and coordinated with Copter 2 to follow the tracks and provide surveillance from the sky.  At approximately 10:00 a.m., the Copter 2 crew located the dirt bike at the bottom of a culvert in La Brea Canyon near Wagon Flat Campground.  The bike had been involved in a collision and there was no sign of the driver.


Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team members followed footprints and a trail of a blood down to a creek area about two miles away.  Due to communication between the SBCSAR ground tracking team and Air Support, at approximately 11:00 a.m., Copter 2 located the missing man in medical distress, standing in the middle of the shallow creek with a friend who had hiked down and found him. He had two broken arms and a leg injury but was conscious and alert.  Due to his military training, the medical equipment he packed was used by his friend to put splints on his broken arms to tide him over until he could get medical attention. 


Copter 3, a larger helicopter, with medical equipment and Santa Barbara County Fire paramedics on board, flew to the area and located a landing area near the wounded dirt bike rider.   Despite his injuries, he was able to walk to the landing zone where he was met by paramedics.  He was flown to a local hospital for medical treatment.


This rescue is a great example of the collaboration that exists in Santa Barbara County with Sheriff, Fire and Aviation personnel working together during an emergency situation.  Everyone involved in this rescue is extremely pleased this resident is reunited with his family and friends who never stopped searching for him. 


The Sheriff’s Office also wants to take this opportunity to thank our highly trained volunteer Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue team who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and who are available to respond around the clock to emergencies such as this one.  This rescue involved 16 Search and Rescue Team members many of whom responded at 2:30 a.m. in the morning and worked more than 12 hours until the rescue was complete. 



For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover


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