Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Helicopter Rescue off Indian Head


Last updated 9/20/2016 at 9:24am

W. W. Harpst III

Crew point out the stranded hiker from the ground

An eye witness reported a helicopter circling around Indian Head this morning in what ended up being a rescue of a stranded hiker.

W. W. Harpst III. a resident of Julian, spends a lot of time hiking the trails and photographing the sheep. This mornings hike ended at the oasis in the car park sitting at the bottom of Indian Head, where he spoke to park employees. "The chopper landed in the car park and I asked them what was going on" stated Harpst, "the chopper was too small to get the guy. They could get one runner on the hillside but the blades were too close and they would have had to jump out of the helicopter."

Additional support was called in and San Diego Sheriffs arrived with a helicopter capable of dropping a cradle. Harpst explained how crew from the smaller chopper appeared to be directing the San Diego crew to the spot the stranded hiker had last been seen, however despite previous contact, it wasn't until the fourth circle that the crews located the man who had moved from the face of the hill to the side.

A statement from a supervisor from the ranger station, who was on site, confirms a man in his mid 50's, was stranded for over 24 hours on Indian Head.

The gentleman and his family are camping at Borrego Palms campground. Having decided to hike up Indian head at 4.00 a.m Monday morning, he had made it to the peak by 7.00 p.m.

Having spent the night in the open, it wasn't until 6.00 a.m the following morning that he sent texts requesting assistance. After the man was retrieved from the mountain, he was checked over by Borrego Springs Fire.

The gentleman chose to release himself from medical care and returned to his family.

The photographer on site, W.W Harpst III will be showcasing a number of his photographs, many taken in the Anza-Borrego, at the Anza-Borrego Natural History Store.

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