A sheriff's helicopter crew rescued three Redlands residents who ran out of rope Wednesday above Monkey Face Falls in Mill Creek Canyon, a sheriff's spokeswoman said Thursday morning.
David Zoe Beck, 27, Ryan Deadmon, and Jeramiah McDonald, 16, were trying to descend a steep drainage with a 100-foot waterfall and ran out of rope before sundown Wednesday, Cindy Bachman of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said.
They used a cell phone to contact the Forest Service, and a pilot and crew chief aboard the airship called 40King1 responded about 6:20 p.m., Bachman said in a statement.
Firefighters on scene determined the three Redlands residents were stuck somewhere above the 100-foot vertical falls, Bachman said.
The three had "traversed approximately half way down the canyon to the 5000’ level before running out of rope," Bachman said. They were unable to continue down, and too exhausted to climb back up.
The crew in 40King1 spotted them stranded on a rocky ledge above the falls, Bachman said. The 40King1 crew called in another helicopter equipped with a hoist, 40King6.
The pilot "Deputy Berend Meelker maneuvered 40King6 between the steep and tight canyon walls," Bachman said. Deputy Carlos Quezada lowered Deputy Jon Anderson down to the victims with extraction harnesses, Bachman said.
The hoists of all three hikers and Anderson were completed before darkness, Bachman said. The rescued parties were flown down to firefighters and paramedics. None of them required medical attention.
"As a reminder, it is imperative to immediately contact 911 first when urgent situations arise," Bachman said. "There are instances where family, friends, or others are initially contacted.
"Emergency resources must be dispatched without delay and cellphone usage kept to a minimum to maintain battery life. In this case, it was late in the afternoon and time was of the essence."
Monkey Face Falls is just east of the dogleg bend in State Route 38 where Valley of the Falls Drive ascends Mill Creek Canyon to Forest Falls, northeast of the city of San Bernardino, Calif.