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Local News

Rescuers Help 2 Hikers, 3 Dogs Stranded in Nira Campground

The pair were stopped by rains and unable to cross a river to return to their vehicle

Two Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue teams and a helicopter brought two people and three dogs to safety Monday after they became trapped by a swollen river during a weekend backpacking trip in the Nira area.

Emergency dispatch received a call about 11:30 a.m. from a family member reporting that a 27-year-old woman and a 36-year-old male from San Diego and their dogs had planned to hike the Sisquoc River loop, but that they hadn’t returned Sunday as expected, according to Drew Sugars, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

The caller said the duo were experienced hikers and had been to the area before.

Rescuers were sent to the Nira campground, and the hikers’ vehicle was still there.

A sheriff’s helicopter followed the Sisquoc River Loop in a search from the air, and after failing to locate the pair on the planned route, expanded its search of the backcountry and found the hikers in the South Fork campground, according to Sugars.

He said the pair told rescuers they had been stopped by the heavy rains and couldn’t return to their vehicle because they couldn’t cross the river with the dogs.

The sheriff’s helicopter transported the hikers and their dogs to Cachuma Saddle, where they were then taken by SAR to the Nira campground. Sugars said the entire operation took less than two hours.

No injuries were reported to the people or their animals.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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