Helicopter helps find lost Annadel State Park hikers

The Sonoma County sheriff's helicopter was busy this weekend rescuing two separate parties of stranded hikers inside Annadel State Park.

The latest incident was reported at 8:56 p.m. Saturday, according to Santa Rosa police and involved two women, ages 22 and 24, and a 25-year-old man lost in the park.

One of the missing persons used a cell phone to call 911.

The trio, visiting from San Jose, reported that they hiked to Vista Point to watch the sunset, but once the sun went down, they were unable to find their way out of the park.

The sheriff's helicopter was able to locate them within minutes, land and take them back to safety.

The second incident involved a 35-year-old man from an unspecified "care facility" who hiked into the park Friday afternoon, but could not find his way out when night fell.

Santa Rosa Police said they were notified at 8:53 p.m. Friday by a caregiver at the facility that a resident had not returned from his hike. There was concern because the subject required regular medication, police said.

The sheriff's helicopter began a search of the park and within minutes located the missing man near Lake Ilsanjo and landed. After evaluating him he was returned to the treatment facility.

Police said the incidents serve as a reminder for people visiting Annadel to pack emergency supplies and provide sufficient time to exit safely.

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