Phone lights guide helicopter to hikers

Jan. 23, 2011 at 6:50 PM
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SANTA ROSA, Calif., Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Two lost hikers were rescued in California after shining their cellphones at a sheriff's helicopter, authorities said.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call from two women lost in Annadel State Park at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sgt. Dave Thompson told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. The helicopter was in the area on another call.

The rescued women, whose names were not revealed, were dressed "for a walk or run in the park," Thompson said. "They had on summer clothes and short-sleeve shirts. As temperatures drop, you can start to get into trouble if you're out there overnight."

He said the hikers, in their late teens or early 20s, "were definitely a little cold, a little disoriented. They were certainly happy to be located."

"We were able to locate them because they shined their cellphones up at us. We have night vision goggles on board. That kind of stuff stands out like a spotlight," Thompson said.

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