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Hikers Stranded Above Eaton Canyon Without Cell Service Use iPhone’s New Emergency SOS Feature to Alert Rescuers

Published on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 | 6:19 am

[Image courtesy Altadena Mountain Rescue Team]
Two hikers were rescued from Eaton Canyon late Sunday night after they became stranded and were unable to continue their descent. 

According to the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team (AMRT), the hikers, experienced canyoneers equipped with proper gear, found themselves in a canyon with no safe anchors to continue their way down. 

“They made the smart decision to call for help,” the AMRT said.

The hikers were in an area with no phone service, but they were able to utilize the new Emergency SOS feature on their Apple iPhone, which communicates via satellite to emergency services. 

Altadena Mountain Rescue Team (AMRT) responded to the call at approximately 10:30 p.m., after a day of training and two other rescue calls.

Due to the rugged terrain and the specific location of the hikers not being known, Sierra Madre Search & Rescue was called in for assistance. After about one hour of searching, members of AMRT were able to visually locate the hikers from the top of a ridge in Eaton Canyon. 

The hikers were in the next canyon over, with no trail access and an approximately 200’ cliff in between.

A Los Angeles County Fire helicopter was requested to extract the hikers, as their location, combined with the darkness and weather conditions, created a dangerous situation for all involved. 

At approximately 1 a.m. the hikers were extracted from the canyon and flown to Farnsworth Park in Altadena, according to the AMRT.

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