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Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 7:50 pm | Fair 52º


Two Hikers Rescued After Cold Night in Backcountry Near New Cuyama

North County pair found in good condition after taking bad turn off trail, airlifted to safety

Two hikers spent the night in near-freezing temperatures near New Cuyama before being rescued Saturday, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff's dispatchers received a call at about 7 p.m. Friday from the wife of a 59-year-old Lompoc man who had not returned from a day hike with a friend — a 66-year-old Santa Maria man — near McPherson Peak, said Kelly Hoover, a sheriff's spokeswoman.

Deputies responded to Aliso Park near New Cuyama and found the hikers' vehicle, but no sign of the two men, she said.

"Members from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue team responded and began looking for the hikers," Hoover said. "Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit Copter 2 assisted with the search until it had to discontinue due to snowfall."

Search & Rescue personnel tracked the hikers through the night, and located them at about 8 a.m. Saturday in deep brush on a north-facing slope, Hoover said.

"Paramedics responded and evaluated the hikers, who were found to be in good condition despite the near-freezing temperatures they experienced overnight," Hoover said. "The hikers said they had gone off the trail to make up some time, and then found themselves in an area of thick brush without overnight equipment."

The county's Copter 3 also responded to the scene — an area of extremely rough terrain — and airlifted the hikers and Search & Rescue personnel to safety.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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