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SBSD - Headquarters
Monday February 12th, 2024 :: 09:34 a.m. PST


North Hills Man Hoisted from Mt Baldy After Hiking Off the Marked Trail and Finding Himself in an Unsafe Situation

DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 11, 2024, 9:05 a.m.

INCIDENT: Hoist Rescue

LOCATION: Baldy Bowl, Mt. Baldy, CA

VICTIM(S): Luis Diaz, 46-years-old, Resident of North Hills 

SUMMARY: On Sunday, February 11, 2024, Luis Diaz contacted the San Bernardino County Sheriff's dispatch asking for assistance while hiking Mt. Baldy. Diaz hiked off-trail, directly up the Mt. Baldy bowl toward the summit. Terrain in the area included several layers of compact snow, powdery snow, and ice. Diaz hiked away from his gear and ended up in a position where he did not feel safe to continue hiking up or down the mountain side.  

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Aviation Unit was notified of Diaz's condition. A Sheriff's patrol helicopter (40King6) responded to the area to locate Diaz. The crew located Diaz near the summit at an elevation of 9,800 feet. The terrain was steep which caused several other hikers to crawl on their hands and knees. The remote area was not easily accessible to Sheriff's search and rescue personnel. The patrol helicopter crew requested Sheriff's helicopter Air Rescue 306 (AR306) for a hoist rescue. 

The crew of AR306 responded to the mountain to rescue Diaz. A technical rescuer was lowered from the helicopter down to Diaz. Diaz was placed in a rescue harness and hoisted into the helicopter. He was transported to awaiting deputies from the Fontana Station and medical personnel who were staged nearby. 

The Sheriff's Department would like to remind anyone heading to the mountain regions for outdoor activities to be prepared. Stay on the marked trail and notify someone of your hiking plan to include what trail you plan to hike and your expected return time. Bring adequate gear, equipment, clothing, food, and water. Researching the area and weather forecast ahead of time can help with planning. Mountain conditions can be treacherous and change drastically over a matter of minutes. Please remember to be safe.

Air Rescue 306 Crew (AR306): 
Pilot Corporal Ryan Peppler 
Crew Chief Deputy Lauren Abernathy 
Technical Rescuer Sergeant Jerred Besheer 
Technical Rescuer Reserve Deputy Gordon Yee 

40-KING-6 Crew (40K6): 
Pilot Corporal Paul Kowalski 
Tactical Flight Officer Deputy Jonathan Holt 

Refer: Lauren Abernathy, Deputy

Station: Emergency Operations Division - Aviation Unit

Phone No. (909) 252-4100

Case No. 032400458

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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