OJAI, Calif. - The Ventura County Sheriff's Office rescued two missing hikers in the Los Padres National Forest after they didn't come home on Tuesday.
The call came in on Tuesday at 1:44 p.m. when Debbie Murphy and Myrto Karamitsou didn't show up in Fillmore on Monday. The two had turned on their personal beacon locator so a Ventura County Aviation Unit helicopter was able to find them. The two hikers were flown out of the mountains to Fillmore.
The two left Ojai on September 27, hiking from Middle Lyons Camp Ground. Their plan was to hike from Middle Lyons Camp Ground, spend some time by the Sespe River, and come out of the National Forest around Fillmore.
The pair packed correctly for their hike and brought enough food, proper clothing, and a water filtration system to last them their full hike. As well, they carried the personal beacon locator which saved their lives. Their personal beacon locator sent first responders their accurate latitude and longitude coordinates to help find them in the Sespe River, near Tar Creek Falls.
The helicopter crew hovered onto a large boulder in the river bottom and found the hikers. Neither Karamitsou nor Murphy were hurt, and they did not need any medical attention. The terrain prevented them from continuing their hike, so they were flown to Fillmore.
If you are preparing for a hike in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County Aviation Unit would like to remind you of the following:
- Register your trip with someone who will be able to keep track of your progress.
- Recognize your limitations when traveling through difficult terrain.
- Personal beacon locators can provide first responders to your exact location if you come across an emergency.
- Bring the appropriate amount of food, water, and personal survival gear for the duration of your trip.