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April 4, 2011 (Borrego) – San Diego Sheriff’s communication center received a call on Thursday from a woman in Mammoth Lakes whose husband and a friend were hiking off Rockhouse Trail in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The two hikers called the woman from a satellite phone because the husband’s friend had become severely dehydrated, incoherent, and in immediate need of medical attention.

Despite the extremely remote area, Sheriff’s deputies from the Ranchita substation/Borrego office arrived in the area within minutes and began a search. Sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter was too far away to assist and State Parks could not respond, according to a Sheriff’s press release. Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was alerted and placed on standby while local deputies assessed the situation. Medical units from Cal-Fire were also notifed and responded.

Within 27 minutes after the call, deputies found the hikers and rendered first aid. Cal-Fire then took over the medical aid and the severely dehydrated victim was transported by air ambulance to a local hospital. The husband, who was found to be in good condition, left in his vehicle.

“The deputies and CalFire personnel are commended for their timely actions and the possible life-saving efforts they conducted on the dehydrated hiker,” Sgt. Tom Evans of the Ranchita substantion reports, adding that conditions were dry with temperatures reaching 95 degrees.

He added, “Those considering hiking in the area are advised to talk with park rangers or deputies before venturing into the trails.” An average of six or more hikers each year are rescued in the Borrego Springs area because they are ill-prepared for desert conditions, he added. “Those without experience hiking this area are urge dot do their research on correct preparation,” Sgt. Evans recommended.

For more information on hiking in the Borrego area, visit http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=638 or call 760-767-5311.

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