49 Year Old Man Missing Overnight

January 22nd, 2005
Indian Canyons, Palm Springs

by Terry Greensein

The mission in Indian Canyon was of a missing 49 year old man, who had gone hiking the previous day to take photographs. Members from the Desert SAR team including the Palm Springs Mounted SAR team where the first to respond to the search the day prior. Sheriff's helicopter, Star 91 was also involved in the search. The Sunday search started early in the morning. The incident Command was set up at the store at Indian Canyon.

Teams were split up and sent in all directions including established trails and some teams including those with team member Brad Scott had to "bushwhack." I was assigned to a team with Travis and Dave Webb. The teams searched for the good part of the morning with Star 91 buzzing up and down the canyons. While our team was heading up a trail, we saw an airplane also buzzing up and down a canyon (we didn't establish if this was part of the search or just some sight seers as it was a beautiful morning.) Because of the recent rains, some of the trails had been washed out or the normal brooks were rivers. The lost hiker was located in the late morning by the Mounted team. He was too weak to be taken back by horse and the subject was airlifted by Star 91. He was then taken back to the Incident Command Post, treated by paramedics and transported to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. He had minor injuries and some mild dehydration and hypothermia. As it turns out, the subject had been hiking and taking pictures. As he was returning, he met up with some day hikers that gave him erroneous information regarding the trail to take back. When it started to get dark he stopped and waited for first light. He was only prepared for a day trip.