press release - 04101601

Sheriff's Search and Rescue, Romero Canyon


Sheriff's Search and Rescue, Romero Canyon



Camper is Rescued After Falling Down Side of Mountain


Santa Barbara - April 10th, 2016


Just before 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, 2016, the Santa Barbara County Dispatch Center received a report of a Santa Barbara male in his sixties who had fallen down the side of a mountain.  The initial caller was a Good Samaritan who stated a woman in her thirties, also from Santa Barbara, had flagged him down at the top of Romero Canyon because her boyfriend needed help.  She stated after camping out in their car the night before, her boyfriend went to pull some of the wildland flowers growing along the side of the road.  When he failed to come back to the car after a couple of hours, she went to look for him and heard him calling from down the side of the mountain road saying he was hurt and could not get up.   She tried to call 9-1-1 for help but her cell phone ran out of power.  The woman left to try and find help.  After finding the Good Samaritan, the girlfriend attempted to drive back to where her boyfriend was but given the dense fog surrounding the road on top of the mountain she was unable to locate him.   

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Search and Rescue (SBCSAR) team responded along with personnel from Santa Barbara County Fire, the U.S. Forest Service, American Medical Response and Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit- Copter 3.  The initial information from the reporting party's cell phone suggested the location was near the Agua Caliente canyon north of the U.S. Forest Service’s Pendola Forest Station.  Copter 3 searched the area where the call was initially reported.  When SBCSAR and County Fire personnel arrived at the end of the paved road at Romero, they located the girlfriend and determined her boyfriend was somewhere between there and Gibraltar Road.  Due to poor visibility, Copter 3 was not able to continue with the search. 


Fifteen SBCSAR team members initiated a search along the road and called out the injured hiker’s name. About 15 minutes later, they heard the injured subject responding down the side of the mountain.  SBCSAR technical rescue EMTs climbed down approximately 40 feet and found the subject tangled up in brush with injuries to his ribs.  He was also suffering mild hypothermia from the rain and cold temperatures present.  As he was unable to walk, SBCSAR put in a rope rescue system and with the assistance of County Fire Station 15 personnel, raised the subject up to the road in a stretcher where he was transferred to AMR paramedics for transport to a local hospital.


SBCSAR historically is one of the most active Search and Rescue teams in the state.  However, in the last two months the team has been more active than normal with more than 40 calls for service including several vehicles over the sides off cliffs, a missing dirt bike rider and technical rope rescues of fallen hikers and climbers.  The all-volunteer SBCSAR team is always looking for great new members to join its team.  If you are interested, go to




For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover


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