A Goleta man who had been missing for several days and was wearing an electronic monitoring device that had run out of batteries was located Thursday night by personnel from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue team.
The 50-year-old missing man reportedly had been without food and water for three days when he was located in the Los Padres National Forest northwest of the Upper Oso Campground. He was found in fair condition but was extremely dehydrated. He is being treated for minor injuries, dehydration and exhaustion at a local hospital.
The Goleta resident’s name is being withheld because no criminal charges are being pursued at this time. The man was reported missing to the Sheriff’s Department on Thursday. The reporting party had not seen him since May 31 and was concerned about his well-being and safety.
The Santa Barbara County Probation Department was looking for the subject as well and contacted the Sheriff’s Department for assistance. A sheriff’s deputy located the missing man’s vehicle around 3 p.m. Thursday at the Upper Oso Campgrounds and discovered it had been left there several days ago.
The Search & Rescue team responded to the area and began searching for the missing man. One dozen SBCSAR team members, two certified search dogs and handlers from the California Rescue Dog Association spent several hours combing the area. Just before dark, around 7 p.m., one of the SBCSAR ground teams was hiking up the creek and yelling the subject's name when they heard a faint response somewhere up the canyon calling for help.
SBCSAR personnel were redeployed into the canyon from several different directions to locate the source of the cries for help. After over an hour of fighting through thick brush and climbing a steep ridge, SBCSAR crews reached the subject. He received a medical evaluation from paramedics and SBCSAR team members helped him down the ridge to the Alisos trailhead. He was then transported to the hospital.
— Kelly Hoover is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.