Helicopter crews rescue 15 hikers who had been missing in Eaton Canyon, Calif.
ALTADENA, Calif. — After heavy fog lifted from Eaton Canyon Monday morning, helicopter crews were able to aid ground officials and locate a church group of at least 15 hikers who went missing near Eaton Canyon (map) the previous day, officials told KTLA-TV.
Multiple hikers were reported missing in the area, just north of Altadena, to the Sheriff’s Department around 11 p.m. Sunday, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Hernandez said. Friends of the hikers said the group had left earlier that day.
The group was located around 9 a.m. Monday, and helicopter crews hoisted them from the area. Medics on the ground didn’t believe any of the hikers were injured, LASD officials said.
Two hikers who separated from the others made it out of the canyon during the night and told authorities they did not know where the 15 to 16 others were.
The last text message sent by one of the missing hikers stated “help,” and officials said the hikers were in potentially dangerous, very rugged terrain and steep rolling hills.
The group was “pretty well prepared” and had ropes, harnesses, helmets, food and water among them, but were not ready for an overnight trip, Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Paige said.
After their rescue, one of the hikers said the group had lost track of time and it got dark, so they decided to stay where they were for the night.