Two hikers called authorities for help and required a hoist rescue from Bonita Falls in Lytle Creek on Feb. 8, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
During their hike up to the waster falls, Benjamin Fialkov and Candace Galusha ascended to a ledge above the falls and were unable to safely traverse the unstable terrain at night. Fialkov and Galusha feared they would fall from the ledge if they attempted to hike down. Fialkov called 911 on his cellular device and requested assistance from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
Personnel from the Fontana Station and the Aviation Unit were dispatched to the location. Sheriff's patrol helicopter 40 King 3 responded to the area and immediately located Fialkov and Galusha at the reported GPS coordinates.
The flight crew determined Fialkov and Galusha had hiked up to an area surrounded by loose rock above and an approximate 1,000-foot drop from the ledge below. Fialkov and Galusha were also unequipped with warm clothing with temperatures dropping to near freezing overnight. The flight crew determined a hoist was needed to safely rescue them from the area.
The rescue operation was conducted during night time hours and required the crew to utilize night vision equipment. A San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department volunteer flight medic was lowered 70 feet down from the helicopter to the ground. The medic assessed Fialkov and Galusha and secured them into rescue harnesses. Fialkov and Galusha were hoisted separately into the helicopter and were flown to a designated landing zone nearby.