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Search and Rescue Team Saves Two Stranded At Seven Falls

Establish Technical Rope and Anchors Rescue Without Injury December 13


The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s all volunteer Search and Rescue team rescued to rock climbers over the weekend after the climbers became stranded on a rock face.

SAR team member lead climbing to first subject to secure him into a rope system for lowering
Click to enlarge photo

SAR team member lead climbing to first subject to secure him into a rope system for lowering

At approximately 11am on Sunday, December 13, the two Santa Barbara area men who are in their mid-twenties were enjoying the warm weather in the Seven Falls area in the upper Mission Canyon when they became stranded approximately 150 feet up from the pools below. Being unable to move any further up or retrace their climbing moves back down, one of the two free climbers was able to get a cellular signal to call 9-1-1 for help as he held onto the cliff face.

Santa Barbara County Dispatch Center paged out the Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue team along with Santa Barbara County Fire Engine 15 Crew. Members of the Mountain Rescue SAR team climbed above the two stranded subjects to set up technical rope anchors and systems.

SAR team member being lowered to second subject to perform a 'Pick Off' before both are lowered safely to the creek bed.
Click to enlarge photo

SAR team member being lowered to second subject to perform a ‘Pick Off’ before both are lowered safely to the creek bed.

To access the first of the two stranded subjects, a SAR member performed a lead climb and attached a climbing harness and the two were then belayed down. A second SAR member was lowered to the remaining stranded subject where he also was secured into a climbing harness and lowered approximately 150 down to the creek bed.

The two subjects were then escorted by emergency personnel down to the Tunnel Trailhead. The SAR rescue call was completed just after 2:00pm. There were no injuries to either climbers or the rescuers.

Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue is an all volunteer Mountain Rescue team that is specifically trained for these types of technical rescues in the wilderness. For more information about the team, visit online.

For more information on this incident or about the team contact team PIO, Nelson Trichler at 805-698-0752.



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