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Missing Santa Barbara Backcountry Hiker Found

[Update 7/30/19 2:50 p.m.] Welch was rescued by helicopter from a remote area called Fish Camp, about 38 miles into his 40-mile hiking route, according to Lt. Brad McVay with the Sheriff’s Office. He was flown to Cottage Hospital with signs of dehydration and exhaustion; excessive heat is believed to be a contributing factor. His dog, Davie, appeared to be unharmed.

In addition to the more than 35 members from the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team, help from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sierra Madre and Altadena Stations, Ventura Sheriff’s East Valley and Fillmore Stations, and the Orange County Sheriff Office Search and Rescue teams were also deployed in the search.

[Original Story] The previously missing Wesley Welch of Santa Barbara was found safe at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday after failing to return from his 40-mile hike in the Los Padres National Forest Sunday evening, according to a report from KEYT.

Photo: courtesyWesley Welch and his dog Davie

Welch, 46, left with his dog Davie on Friday morning to hike in the Sisquoc Canyon area and told family he planned to return Sunday evening, according to Lt. Brad McVay with the Sheriff’s Department. When a family member hadn’t heard from Welch by the time he was due back, they reported him as missing. The county’s Search and Rescue Team responded immediately and found his vehicle at the Manzana Trailhead around midnight.

After 17 Search and Rescue team members, several patrol deputies (some on ATVs), and a helicopter searched the route on Monday from 5 a.m. to dusk, Welch still hadn’t been found. McVay said team members spent Monday night in the backcountry after arriving via helicopter and resumed the search at dawn Tuesday, when Welch was subsequently located. According to a LinkedIn account, Welch works for the County of Santa Barbara as a business manager.

Details about where Welch was found and his and Davie’s condition are unclear but will be updated as information becomes available.

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