Three brothers were rescued off Chiquito Falls on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Orange County Fire Authority
Three brothers were rescued off Chiquito Falls on Sunday after running out of water during a hike. Photo courtesy of Orange County Fire Authority

Three brothers, two of them adults and one 13 years old, were rescued by a pair of Orange County Fire Authority helicopters after they ran out of water while hiking near Chiquito Falls in Cleveland National Forest and the teen began exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion.

The trio from Lake Elsinore started hiking before between 10 and 11 a.m., about 15 miles east of Interstate 5 off Ortega Highway and ran out of water some time after 4 p.m., Sunday with temperatures in the high 90s, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said.

They thought they were lost while trying to get back to the trailhead, but then stumbled upon a sign that informed them they were 7 1/2 miles from Ortega Highway, Concialdi said.

Worried about the teen’s symptoms — including cramps and vomiting — they used a cellular phone to summon help, the captain said.

They were located by Orange County sheriff’s helicopter Duke and OCFA choppers were then called in to extract the brothers, Concialdi said.

A flight medic and an Urban Search and Rescue team member were lowered to the three.

Two of the hikers, the teen and his 20-year-old brother, were hoisted aboard one helicopter and the other brother, this one 31-years-old, was hoisted into the other, according to Concialdi, who said the 13-year-old was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The hikers underestimated the toll taken while hiking uphill in extreme heat and did not carry an adequate water supply, Concialdi said.

They were also lucky to get a cell phone signal, he said.

— City News Service

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