The Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue team and a helicopter from the Air Support Unit rescued two female hikers early Wednesday lost in the Point Sal area south of Guadalupe.
Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Mark Williams said the hikers, from Oceano and Arroyo Grande, became disoriented while trying to return to their car after going to the beach.
He said the search covered the beach at the end of Brown Road and the adjacent bluff areas.
Search & Rescue used a Polaris Razor modified for search operations, a thermal imaging unit and night-vision optics in near total darkness.
Williams said ground teams tracked the hikers and their dog via footprints and other evidence, along the beach and in the higher bluff areas. Although the terrain was difficult, they tracked into the morning.
He said the helicopter was launched before daybreak from its base at the Santa Ynez Airport, and the crew found the women huddled under a tree.
Rescuers landed, boarded the hikers and flew them out. Emergency personnel evaluated the women, who Williams said were found to be in good condition.