Hiker rescued off Hood Mountain

November 25, 2008 10:36:10 AM PST
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Department rescued a 60-year-old man Sunday evening who became exhausted while hiking up Hood Mountain from Adobe Canyon Road in Kenwood.

Stuart Dunn called the sheriff's department on his cell phone around 5 p.m. to report he needed help because he was too tired to complete his hike, the sheriff's department said.

Dunn said he had a recent medical condition but was not injured, authorities said. Dunn said he left a trail and was on the side of the mountain that was covered with 4-6 feet of vegetation. He said he did not know his exact location but could see the Sonoma County juvenile hall, the sheriff's department said.

It was getting dark, the temperatures had been in the 30s at night and Dunn was wearing short pants and did not have a jacket, water or other supplies, authorities said.

The sheriff's department's helicopter Henry-1 arrived 10 minutes later and contacted Dunn using the satellite telephone onboard the helicopter.

Dunn was able to guide the helicopter to his general direction and the crew uses night vision goggles and an on-board computer mapping and GPS system to expedite the rescue and improve safety, the sheriff's department said.

There was nowhere to land near Dunn so the helicopter landed on an adjacent ridge to set up a long line rescue with a harness. As pilot Paul Bradley hovered over the site, Sgt. Eric Thomson attached the rescue harness and Dunn was taken to a landing zone.

Dunn was medically evaluated and driven home by a sheriff's deputy.


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