Rescue Near Temecula

April 16, 2008
Near Temecula

By Glenn Henderson

I received a call from dispatch that one RMRU member was needed to respond to Hemet Ryan Sheriff's air unit to extract an overdue 67-year-old hiker. It was 12:30 a.m. The Sheriff's department had received a call from his wife reporting him overdue. They flew the area, found him quickly and were able to land a deputy but he was unable to get to our hiker due to impassable brush. They flew back and then called the team for someone to be inserted via the winch. I responded and we flew out at 1 a.m.. It was a short flight on a beautiful moonlit night. When we got to him TFO (technical flight officer) Chad Marlatt hooked me up and started my decent to the ground. As I got about halfway down the wind came up and started pushing us around. It took a little while longer but I finally reached the ground. I put our hiker into a "screamer suit", hooked him up to the helicopter and he was lifted out. They then sent it back for me. The return trip was much easier than the way down. We landed in a shopping center and transfered our hiker to a waiting patrol car. Many thanks to pilot Craig McDonald and to Chad for a smooth rescue. I got home at 2:45 a.m.