press release - 08261401



Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Search and Rescue

Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team Assists Monterey County


Big Sur, CA - August 26th, 2014


Personnel from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SBCSAR) team were deployed over the weekend to assist in the search for a missing backpacker in the Big Sur area of Monterey County.

Arvin Nelson, 55, of Big Sur, began hiking August 6th at the China Camp trailhead in the Los Padres National Forest and was expected to arrive at the Big Sur Station trailhead on August 14.  When Nelson, an experienced hiker, failed to show up by August 16, his friends contacted the Monterey County Sheriff's Department and a search was initiated.

During this past weekend more than 100 search and rescue personnel from throughout the state participated in the search which stretched over 20 miles from the point where the backpacker was last seen to where he was scheduled to end his trip.

SBCSAR team members were flown by helicopter Saturday morning from the search staging area to the Ventana Wilderness east of Big Sur.  From there, they performed an area search of Bear Basin north to Pine Valley, where they were flown out Sunday afternoon by a California National Guard Blackhawk helicopter back to the staging area.  As of this date, Nelson is still missing and the search is continuing.

The Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team is an all-volunteer branch of the Sheriff’s Office trained to handle a variety of emergencies, including high-angle rock rescues, car-over-the-side accidents, downed aircraft, swiftwater rescues and medical emergencies.

The team is currently recruiting new members.  If you are interested in giving back to your community in this important way, you are encouraged to attend a no-obligation recruitment meeting tomorrow night, August 27 at 6 p.m. located at 66 South San Antonio Road in Santa Barbara.  For more information, go to


For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover


Business Hours: (805) 681-4100

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