DATE/TIME: March 3, 2023, at approximately 8:03 a.m.
INCIDENT: Search and Rescue
LOCATION: Pacific Crest Trail, San Gorgonio Mountain
VICTIM(S): Riley Ramirez, 17-year-old Male from Cypress, Ca.
Cole White, 17-year-old Male from Portland, Oregon
SUMMARY: On Friday, March 3, 2023, deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Morongo Basin Station, received a call for service regarding a search of two juveniles lost on the Pacific Crest Trail near San Gorgonio Mountain.
Deputies learned that 17-year-old Riley Ramirez and 17-year-old Cole White were dropped off near a trailhead in Whitewater, CA, on February 26, 2023 to hike a section of the Pacific Crest Trail. Due to the severe weather conditions experienced throughout the region and lost communication from the hikers, a search and rescue operation was initiated. The parents’ last established contact with the juveniles was on February 28, 2023.
Sheriff’s Aviation Helicopter 40King1 arrived and flew over a remote section of the Pacific Crest Trail along Mission Creek, eventually locating Riley and Cole. The crew of 40King1 performed an off-site landing in heavy snow and contacted the lost hikers. The crew ultimately flew the juveniles to the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station, where they received medical attention, food, water, and a warm place until their parents arrived.
During the five days they were hiking, they encountered four to five feet of snow drifts, limiting visibility and making it difficult to stay on the trail. Riley and Cole expressed how severe the weather conditions were and believed they would not have survived without assistance from the Sheriff’s Department.
Refer: Deputy B. Narcisse
Station: Morongo Basin Station
Phone No. (760) 366-4175
Case No. 092300365