Exhausted Mountain Biker

July 16, 2006
Pechanga Foothills

by Kevin Walker

As the team completed an operation in Idyllwild, RSO contacted the team and asked for assistance in rescuing a stranded mountain bike rider in the foothills to the south of the Pechanga Casino. RMRU members Ray Hussey and Kevin Walker responded to RSO Aviation headquarters at Hemet Ryan Airport while the balance of the team started towards Temecula.

With Ray and Kevin on board, the helicopter flew to a landing zone at the base of the densely brush covered slopes south of Temecula near the I-15. The subject had become stranded at the end of a game trail he was riding, and using a cell phone call 911 asking for rescue. He also said he was badly dehydrated and unable to retrace his path back up the steep hillside. The subject in his late 20's - early 30's was quickly located approximately 1000 feet up from the valley floor. Kevin was lowered to the subject by the rescue hoist on Star 9. The rescue harness was placed on the subject and he was raised up to the rescue helicopter followed by his mountain bike. The subject was flown back to base; Kevin was then extracted and in turn flown back out.

To our dismay, the subject was checked by paramedics, refused treatment, and then rode home. It is our opinion that this was not a life saved, but someone in need (of sorts) helped none the less.