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SBSD - Headquarters
Saturday August 13th, 2022 :: 07:15 p.m. PDT


Hikers Rescued After Getting Lost and Going Off-Trail in Ice House Canyon

DATE/TIME: August 13, 2022, 9:30 a.m.

INCIDENT: Hoist Rescue

LOCATION: Ice House Canyon

VICTIM(S): Paolo Barbosa, 62, of Nuevo 
Thinzar Htut, 46, of Palmdale
Ai Tsuiki, 48, of Fontana

SUMMARY: On August 13, 2022, at around 6:00 a.m., Paolo, Thinzar, and Ai started their hike in Ice House Canyon. During the hike, Thinzar and Ai fell behind, got lost, and eventually ended up going off-trail. They began climbing up the mountain in extremely steep, rugged terrain. Thinzar and Ai ended up on a steep rock face and both found themselves in a precarious position. Thinzar was unable to move or she would risk falling down the mountainside. The only thing holding her was a thin tree root. Ai lost both of her shoes and was standing on a rocky shelf with steep drop-offs on both sides. After realizing there was no way to hike out, a Garmin inReach device was activated by Ai to get help. 

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Emergency Operations received the SOS and the crew of 40 King 6 responded to the GPS location given in the emergency call. The crew searched extensively and located the stranded hikers. The crew made announcements to the hikers and requested assistance from the crew of Air Rescue 306.

The crew of Air Rescue 306 responded and set up for a pick-off rescue. The crew had to be careful not to cause Thinzar to fall due to the helicopter's rotor wash. As the rescuer was lowered, the crew chief and the pilot worked together to "thread the needle" and place the rescuer between two large boulders, just below the victim. After successfully placing the rescuer in position, the pilot had to hold a prolonged hover to allow the rescuer to place Thinzar in a harness. The crew then hoisted both to the helicopter and flew them to medical personnel waiting nearby. A deputy with the Fontana Sheriff's Station assisted with the coordination of the rescue.  

The crew of Air Rescue 306 then returned to the location to rescue Ai. A second rescuer was hoisted down to the small shelf Ai was standing on. The rescuer had to walk herself down a large boulder as she was being hoisted down by the crew. Once on the ground, the rescuer secured Ai in a harness and she was hoisted to the helicopter, followed by the rescuer. Ai was also released to medical personnel and reunited with Thinzar. Paolo was able to safely hike out by himself.    

Crew of 40 King 6:
Pilot - Dave Negron, Deputy
Flight Officer - Dave Moore, Deputy

Crew of Air Rescue 306:
Pilot - Paul Kowalski, Corporal
Crew Chief - Chris Mejia, Corporal
Air Medic - Wayne Hess, EMT
Air Medic - Stacey Price, RN

Refer: Corporal Chris Mejia

Station: Emergency Operations Division - Aviation Unit

Phone No. (909) 252-4100

Case No. DR# 032202252

SHANNON D. DICUS, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department

SBSD - Headquarters
655 E 3rd St
San Bernardino, CA 92408

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 909-387-3700

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