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Local News

Hiker Dies on Santa Cruz Island

Heat stroke apparently claims Orange County man after 14-mile hike in 90-degree weather

An Orange County man died on Santa Cruz Island on Friday of apparent heat stroke following a hike during unseasonably hot weather.

Thomas Pruner, 49, of Lake Forest, and three friends hiked a 14-mile trail between Prisoners Harbor and Scorpion Valley Campground, according to Channel Islands National Park spokeswoman Yvonne Menard. The group embarked on the trek around 11 a.m. Friday as temperatures were climbing to a record 94 degrees, she said.

Pruner’s companions told authorities that he showed signs of fatigue early in the hike and his condition worsened as the day wore on. Menard said Pruner needed assistance over the last couple of miles and that he went into seizures once the group arrived at the Scorpion Valley camp about 5 p.m. Soon after, she said, he became unresponsive and then lost consciousness.

Menard said a Santa Barbara Adventure Co. kayak guide, an off-duty Navy fire captain from San Diego and National Park Service staff tried for an hour to revive him using an automated external defibrillator and CPR. She said Ventura County Sheriff’s Department paramedics arrived and continued resuscitation efforts for another 30 minutes.

Pruner was pronounced dead at 7:27 p.m. and he was transported to the Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Office.

Prior to the hike, rangers provided the group with a general safety orientation that included information about staying hydrated. Menard said rangers advised the hikers that, given the hot conditions and terrain with little shade, they needed twice as much water as the two liters each man was carrying.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk.

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