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UPDATE: Hiker rescued after four days near Placerita Canyon

Posted: September 19, 2013 12:37 p.m.
Updated: September 19, 2013 12:37 p.m.

A “scratched” hiker lost in the woods of the Angeles National Forest since Sunday is recovering in the hospital thanks to the heroic efforts of three hikers including a husband and wife who heard his cries for help, said the man’s rescuer.

When the hikers heard the man’s desperate cries one of them - Tyler Knapp - hiked down a waterfall to rescue him.

The man, whose identity has not been released, was airlifted to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Thursday morning after hikers from the Placerita Canyon Nature Center worked with the Search and Rescue Team.

“Me and my wife, Sami, were hiking up Los Pinetos Trail when we heard a faint cry for help,” said Knapp, 28, a volunteer at the center.

“I yelled down ‘Do you need help?’ and ‘Do you need an ambulance?’ and he shouted ‘Yes.’” Knapp said.

Knapp and a third hiker, he knows only as Ken, hiked down to the bottom of a now-dry waterfall near  the Walker Ranch Trailhead, about two miles east of the Placerita Canyon Nature Center.

“We found him at the base of the incline. It would have been a little cascade of water if there was water but it was dry,” Knapp said.

“He was all scratched up and looked like he had been there a long time,” Knapp said. “He said he found water only in the last couple of days and dug a little hole.”

The lost hiker apparently sucked water out of it.

“He said he had been camping out there and yelled up for other hikers before but none heard him,” Knapp said.

Once Knapp and Ken were with the lost hiker, Knapp shouted information to his wife who then used a cell phone to relay information to search and rescue workers, he said.

The hikers were at the far end of the trail and inside the Angeles National Forest.

The man ate Toyon berries and before he found  the groundwater drank his own urine to stay alive, according to the hikers.

The rescue effort got underway when Knapp phoned 9-1-1 on his cell phone, telling officials a hiker apparently injured himself in a fall.

Shortly after 9:15 a.m. Thursday, firefighters were dispatched to an area inside the Angeles National Forest between Sand Canyon and Placerita Canyon, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

“The call came in as an injury, one patient fell,” she said.

A Search & Rescue helicopter team was dispatched to the rugged area to lift the injured hiker off the trail into the chopper and to the hospital.

At 10:10 a.m., the chopper team was in the area, coordinating with the Placerita Canyon Nature Center Association volunteers hiking in the area.


on Twitter @jamesarthurholt


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