On December 6th, 2013, at about 7:20pm, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call for a male victim who had fallen through ice while hunting in the Black Rock hatchery area. The victim was identified as 19 year old Ridgecrest resident Tyler Dennison.
Dennison was able to swim to a small island approximately 50 yards from the shore, where he became stranded. Sheriff’s Deputies, members of Inyo County Search and Rescue, Independence Volunteer Fire Department, and Cal-Fire engine 3564 responded.
Dennison was rescued from the island and treated by emergency medical technicians from the Independence Volunteer Fire Department.
The Sheriff’s Department would like to thank the Independence Volunteer fire Department, Cal-Fire engine 3564, Inyo County Search Rescue, and the residents at the Black Rock hatchery for their assistance.
On December 6th, 2013 at approximately noon, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department was advised of a motorcycle rider stuck in the Saline Valley area due to snow. The victim was identified as 39 year old Alberta Canada resident, Matias Espinoza. According to the reporting party, Espinoza was attempting to visit the Saline Valley hot springs on December 5th when he and his motorcycle became stuck in a canyon east of the main Saline Valley road due to snow and ice. Espinoza spent the night in sub-zero temperatures before contacting a family member by cell phone. Espinoza was carrying a SPOT device which enabled his family to track his whereabouts. The coordinates from the SPOT device also aided Search and Rescue in locating him.
At about 4:30 pm on December 6th Espinoza was located by members of the Inyo County Search and Rescue team. Espinoza was uninjured and transported to Bishop by Search and Rescue members.
On November 24, 2013 at about 10:40am, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department received a telephone call regarding a stranded hiker near Upper Boy Scout Lake (located at the base of Mt. Whitney).
According to the reporting party (Pamela McKeown) her husband, James McKeown, called her in the morning to let her know he was neck deep in snow and could not get down the mountain. Pamela said James woke up Friday morning (11-22-2013) and had to dig his way out of his tent because he had about five feet of snow on him. Pamela said that James did not have any food, water, warm clothing, or shelter due to James leaving all of his gear behind in an attempt to get off the mountain. James was supposed to meet his friend, David Webb, at Iceberg Lake but never met up with David. Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received further information that David Webb may also be in trouble.
At about 1:20pm, CHP helicopter H-40 located James McKeown. H-40 was able to rescue James and transport him to Southern Inyo Hospital to be treated for frost bite, hypothermia, dehydration, and exhaustion.
At about 1:40pm, H-40 located David Webb and transported him to Southern Inyo Hospital for treatment of frost bite and exhaustion.
A further interview indicated that David Webb went to Iceberg Lake to meet James McKeown. After the snow storm hit, David said he decide to climb down the mountain to get back to his vehicle. As David was walking down, he was hit by an avalanche and buried up to his neck. David said he lost all of his supplies in the avalanche. Once David was able to dig himself out, he got hit by another avalanche. David said he was about to give up when H-40 found him.
Thank you to CHP H-40 for your quick response and assistance!
On November 23, 2013, at about 3:00pm, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department received a telephone call regarding a female fall victim at Happy Boulders of Chalk Bluff Road. According to the reporting party, the female subject landed on her back and was screaming in pain.
The Inyo County Search and Rescue (SAR) team responded to the location. The female, identified as Kelli Iddings, a 25 year old woman from San Francisco, CA, was secured on a wheeled litter and brought out to Chalk Bluff Road where Symons Ambulance Service was waiting. While inside the ambulance, Iddings said that she was climbing the Happy Boulders when she missed her grip and fell about 15 feet to the ground, landed on her back and hit her head. Iddings was transported to Northern Inyo Hospital for treatment, then flown to Renown Hospital in Reno, NV due to her injuries.
Thank you Inyo County SAR for your fast response!