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Malibu Search and Rescue assists in locating lost hikers

Two hikers answer questions from Channel 4 News after being rescued by the Malibu Search and Rescue team from Newton Canyon in Malibu. Photo submitted
Staff Report
4:09 pm PST March 3, 2014

At approximately 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Malibu Search and Rescue team received a call for two missing hikers in the Newton Canyon area of Malibu. 

The two hikers, an 18-year-old male from West Hills and a 17-year-old female from Chatsworth, together with their small dog, had set out for an afternoon hike at 3 p.m. from the Newton Canyon trail head off of Kanan Road. 

Once darkness fell around 6 p.m. and the weather turned cold and rainy, the hikers realized they were lost and called one of their parents. The parent notified Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, which in turn called out the LASD Malibu Search and Rescue Team. 

While en route to the call, Malibu SAR contacted the informant to obtain additional details. By that time, the two hikers’ phones batteries had already died. 

Meanwhile, because of the cold and rainy conditions, Malibu SAR notified Los Angeles County Fire which launched a rescue helicopter to assist in the search, together with additional ground units.  

Based on Malibu SAR’s interview of the informant, the team attempted to locate the missing hikers several miles from where they began their hike hours earlier. LACO Fire Copter 18 attempted to enter the area but the low fog ceiling prevented them from assisting. 

After about an hour of searching in near zero visibility conditions, the two hikers were located. 

The hikers and their dog were wet and very cold, but very happy to be rescued. They were loaded into a warm rescue vehicle and driven to their initial location where their vehicle was parked and their family was waiting for word on their condition.