The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team helped locate six hikers yesterday, February 15, near Mission Canyon in Santa Barbara. The six Chinese students, who currently live in Santa Barbara and attend Santa Barbara City College and the University of California, Santa Barbara went for a hike near the popular "Seven Pools" area above the city of Santa Barbara.
The six friends left around 3 p.m. to visit the pools and watch the sunset. However, following sunset they realized they were too far up Mission Canyon to hike back to their cars before night came. They only had the light from their cell phones and determined they were unable to safely climb down from the panoramic view area located on a steep slope 100 feet above one of the pools. They decided it was best to stay put and call for help.
Just before 7 a.m., one of the hikers called 9-1-1 to report they were lost, without lights, dehydrated and starting to get cold. Members of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team were paged out to assist the six students.
As Sheriff’s Search and Rescue personnel were hiking into the area, another group of four hikers were coming down from Arlington Peak and heard cries for help. Two of the hikers from that group diverted from their planned route to attempt to climb up to them. Fortunately, these two Good Samaritans were able to locate the group and help guide them down the steep trail using their headlamps. Shortly after, Sheriff’s Search and Rescue personnel met up with the groups and guided everyone back down to the main trail to their cars where they were released to go home.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team, is a trained, all-volunteer unit of the Sheriff’s Office that is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The team wants to remind residents to be aware of the time of day when going on a hike and to always be prepared for the wilderness regardless of when you think you will be departing.