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Lost hikers rescued from California forest

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. — Rescuers who plucked a young woman from a steep, rocky canyon wall Thursday said she was exhausted, had trouble breathing and likely could not have survived much longer than another day in the rugged Southern California wilderness.

Kyndall Jack, 18, was rescued from a near-vertical wall in Falls Canyon in Cleveland National Forest, five days after she got lost on a day hike with a friend.

"She was kind of clinging to the ledge on the cliff side, kind of going in and out of consciousness," said Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Jim Moss, a paramedic who treated her. "She wouldn't have made it much longer. She's really lucky."

Searchers found her hours after they located her hiking companion, 19-year-old Nicolas Cendoya, Wednesday night, said Orange County sheriff's Lt. Jason Park.

A reserve deputy aiding the effort suffered a head injury when he fell 60 feet in the canyon. He was also flown to a hospital. His name was not released and his condition was not immediately known.

Jack and Cendoya had driven to the area Easter Sunday for what was supposed to be a short, easy day hike through a picturesque canyon to a waterfall. But the couple got lost and ran out of water. Cendoya called 911 Sunday before his cellphone battery died.

Lost hikers rescued from California forest 04/04/13 [Last modified: Thursday, April 4, 2013 10:18pm]
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