Hoist Rescue Mountain Center
Written by Les Walker
The mission was a fast and easy one. We got a call of that there was a lost teen somewhere in the North Fork area below highway 243, thatís the drainage that feeds out Dark Canyon. I loaded up my gear and headed to Keenwild heliport and was briefed by the pilots. They told me that they had spotted a young man on a small rise and they think they could get me in there without a hoist effort.
We took off and after a short flight we located the boy and Star 9 was able to put a skid down on a rock so I could jump out. Of course all this time I was wearing the headsets to speak with the pilot and TFO as to how comfortable they felt about my getting out and then jumping 10 off the rock. So during all the excitement, and the perfect window for me to leave the helicopter, I went out wearing my headsets. Luckily they popped right off and bounced back to the TFO who caught them. Not an ideal situation, but in retrospect a little funny.
After that I gathered the boy and prepared him for the pickup, we walked to a new location that was a better landing zone and Star 9 was able to set down all the way for the pickup. We loaded up and flew back to Lake Hemet where we handed off the young man to the waiting sheriff and I got a ride back to Keenwild. All in all it took us less than one hour. I learned, even though it gets pretty dang exciting in these situations, it is best to slow down a little and really think it through, maybe even take the headset off!
RMRU Members Involved: Les Walker.