SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (KTLA) – Authorities rescued 10 hikers after they were reported missing in Southern California’s Santa Paula Canyon earlier this week.
On May 12, the group of hikers went missing near the Last Chance Trail area around 8 p.m., according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
When the group failed to return, guardians for the hikers contacted deputies to report the group as missing and possibly in need of assistance.
Authorities later received a text from the hikers who said they were unable to find their way back from the canyon.
The hikers were able to contact dispatch through the Apple Emergency SOS feature and provided authorities with “valuable information such as a possible location and if immediate medical aid was needed.”
Thirteen members from the Upper Ojai Search and Rescue Team responded to the trailhead to begin their search.
Rescue crews hiked approximately four miles into the Santa Paula Canyon, facing a multitude of obstacles including low visibility, multiple stream crossings and trails that had been damaged from heavy rains.
At around 11:15 p.m., rescue team members successfully located the 10 missing hikers.
“Most of the hikers were not prepared for the hike and were provided with food, drinking water and lighting equipment as they were led out to the Santa Paula Canyon Trailhead,” officials said.
By 2:40 a.m., all rescue members and hikers safely returned to the Santa Paula Canyon Trailhead.
“The hikers were reunited with their guardians and fortunately did not require any medical aid,” officials said.