Five California agencies came to the rescue of a family that had been stranded in the Tahoe National Forest for three days.
The Sierra County Sheriff’s Office commanded a helicopter on Aug. 15 to locate the family of four from a remote area of Fiddle Creek, which officials say is one of the steepest points in western Sierra County.
Two adults and their 10-year-old and 9-month-old had hiked out to the steep Indian Valley spot three days earlier, but were unable to return to their vehicle when dehydration and heat exhaustion struck the mother down, the sheriff’s office said.
The family stayed together in the spot, located about 2,500 feet down the canyon.
When it became clear the mother wouldn’t be able to return on her own, her husband hiked back alone and requested immediate assistance.
California Highway Patrol Air Operations sent a helicopter to search for the mother and two children, but was unable to spot them through the thick foliage.
They did find the husband, however, and were able to direct deputies to him and his vehicle on the canyon rim. The husband led them back to his family.
Nevada County Search and Rescue members escorted the husband, child, and infant up the rough terrain and back to their vehicle, but rescue personnel from Downieville Fire Department and the Tahoe National Forest Service had to stay with the wife overnight before they could take her from the area. When there was enough daylight, the teams hoisted her from the ground and into a hovering helicopter before transferring her to an Enloe FlightCare medevac helicopter.
In addition to the five rescue teams, another family hiking in the area aided in the rescue by allowing the sheriff’s office to use their side-by-side ATV to shuttle rescuers in and out of the area.
The rescue occurred in the same national park where California teen Kiely Rodni went missing and was found dead two weeks later. The Prosser Creek Reservoir, where the 16-year-old was found, is some 60-miles from where the family was hiking.