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By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2014 (Julian) – Last night shortly after 8 p.m., a lost hiker called the Sheriff’s communication center to report that he and a companion were lost in the rugged Three Sisters Falls area near Julian.  Their cell phone was dying and they could not find their way back to their vehicle, said Sergeant Carlos Medina at the Julian Sheriff’s Substation.

Julian’s Deputy Sheriff notified the San Diego County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. Sergeant Rand responded with a search team, but darkness and weather hindered the effort.  This morning, the search continued.  At 7:47 a.m., the hiker and his female companion were located and brought back to their vehicle at the trailhead.

Both were safe and suffered no injuries.

The incident serves as a reminder that when hiking in the wilderness, it's wise to be sure your cell phone is fully charged.  If possible carry a cell phone equipped with GPS to help rescuers locate you in case of accident, injury, or if you become lost.  Carry extra water, food, a blanket, and a flashlight. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and carry basic first aid items. Always let someone know where you are hiking and when you expect to return. 

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When off-road or on the trail

When traveling in remote areas the cellphone is usually off until I stop to send or check calls and messages. When your phone is at maximum range or out of range it will use more power trying to connect to the closest tower. I also disable WiFi and Bluetooth to save battery life, doubt that either are available at The Falls. Should the hikers be billed for the rescue efforts? Tom