10 missing hikers rescued in Ventura County

Credit: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Upper Ojai Search and Rescue (SAR) Team

Ten missing hikers were rescued near the "Last Chance" area of the Santa Paula Canyon, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said. 

On May 12, around 8 p.m., sheriff's dispatch received a text message from the group of hikers saying they were unable to find their way back from the Santa Paula Canyon.

According to the sheriff's office, the hikers were able to contact them through the Apple Emergency SOS feature.

Also, the guardians of the 10 hikers contacted Ventura County deputies near the trailhead to report the group missing. 

A total of 13 search and rescue crew members hiked four miles into the canyon to locate the missing hikers. Crews say they faced low visibility, multiple stream crossings and trails that had been damaged from rain.

Crews located the missing hikers around 11:15 p.m. and by 2:40 a.m. all 10 hikers made it down the trailhead and were reunited with their guardians. 

The age of the hikers are between 16 and 18, the sheriff's office reported. Officials say most of the hikers were not prepared for the hike and were provided with food, water and lighting equipment as they were led out to the Santa Paula Canyon Trailhead.