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SBSD - Headquarters
Saturday January 28th, 2023 :: 06:37 p.m. PST


Sheriff's Air Crews Conduct Technical Ice Hoist Rescue on Mt. Baldy

DATE/TIME: Saturday, January 28, 2023, 11:46 a.m.

INCIDENT: Technical Ice Hoist Rescue

LOCATION: Timber Peak, Mt. Baldy, Ca.

RESCUED PARTY(S): Abdollah Katbab, 71-year-old resident of Del Mar, Ca

SUMMARY: On Saturday, January 28, 2023, Abdollah Katbab went hiking in the area of Ice House Canyon on Mt. Baldy. During his hike, he was making his way between Timber Mountain and Ice House Saddle. The trail was extremely slippery from the icy conditions. At some point while Katbab was on the trail, he slipped and fell approximately 50 feet. When Katbab came to a stop, the terrain was steep and icy and he did not feel he would be able to get back to the trail safely. He had a Garmin In Reach device and activated it. Through communication on the In Reach device, Katbab stated he received minor injuries to his arms. 

California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) notified San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, Volunteer Forces unit, and requested a search and rescue. Sheriff's dispatch along with Sheriff's Helicopter 40-KING-4, was notified of the incident. The crew of 40-KING-4 arrived in the area and began their search. Sheriff's Helicopter Air Rescue 306 and crew, was at their hangar conducting training with technical ice rescue members. Due to the icy conditions on Mt. Baldy, the crew of Air Rescue 306 decided to head to the location as well, for a potential hoist rescue. 

As Air Rescue 306 arrived in the area, the crew of 40-KING-4 located Katbab at the 8,000' level and confirmed that a hoist rescue would be needed. The crew of 40-KING-4 relayed to Air Rescue 306 that Katbab was still sliding from time to time but it appeared he was able to stop himself. Air Rescue 306 hovered above Katbab and lowered Technical Rescuer Lucy Durfee down to Katbab. Durfee was able to get stable footing with her crampons and other technical gear. Durfee made her way to Katbab and placed him into a rescue harness. Katbab was hoisted to the helicopter, followed by Durfee, then flown to San Antonio Dam, where paramedics took over medical treatment. 
Air Rescue 306 Crew:
Pilot Corporal Ryan Peppler 
Crew Chief Deputy Greg Hanrahan
Technical Rescuer Lucy Durfee 
Technical Rescuer Ean Sanchez 

40-KING-4 Crew:
Pilot Deputy Doug Brimmer
Tactical Flight Officer Deputy Jon Holt            

Refer: Ryan Peppler, Corporal 

Station: Emergency Operations Division - Aviation Unit 

Phone No. (909)252-4100

Case No. 032300261

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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