PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - On Friday, June 6 the Riverside County Sheriff's Department Cabazon Station responded to the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Mountain San Jacinto State Park and State Wilderness, after receiving a call of two lost hikers in distress.
The hikers were identified as 33-year-old Matthew Jenkins and 25-year-old Tamarah Brewer, both from Palm Springs. At 8:23 PM, Palm Springs Police Dispatch received a call from the two lost hikers who stated they had been hiking for about fifteen hours in the mountains above the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and have been out of water for the last six hours. The hikers said they were lost, fatigued, dehydrated, and were too weak to continue. The hikers were not sure where they were, but could see the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway from their location. The hikers believed they were on the Skyline Trail and about 7000 feet in elevation.
Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Riverside County Sheriff's Aviation unit, State Park Rangers, Riverside County Mountain Rescue members, and employees from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway responded to search for the lost hikers. At about 10:05 PM, Riverside County Aviation unit was able to locate the lost hikers and relay the global positioning information to Riverside County Mountain Rescue members. On Saturday, at about 12:15 AM, rescue units located and made contact with the hikers about 1.5 miles from the top of the tramway. The hikers were unable to continue to the tramway. Rescue units and the hikers spent the evening on the trail. They returned to the tramway at about 6:45 AM. The hikers were transported to the Desert Regional Hospital by ambulance for dehydration and fatigue.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department would like to remind hiking enthusiasts to carry proper equipment for any outdoor excursion. Proper preparedness includes a well thought-out travel plan shared with friends and family, as well as familiarity with common hiking equipment, such as GPS, maps and compasses, proper clothing and plenty of water. Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit offers several helpful, lifesaving tips at their website.