Crime - Sacto 911

Locator beacon directs CHP helicopter crew to injured man in Inyo County

CHP flight officer/paramedic Brandon Hallam helps Owen Mould of Marin to a helicopter after the injured Mould was located near Mount Lamarck in Inyo County on Sept. 6, 2017.
CHP flight officer/paramedic Brandon Hallam helps Owen Mould of Marin to a helicopter after the injured Mould was located near Mount Lamarck in Inyo County on Sept. 6, 2017. CHP Valley Division Air Operations

A man with an injured knee was located and rescued by a California Highway Patrol helicopter crew that responded to a personal locator beacon activation in the area of Mount Lamarck in Inyo County.

The CHP’s Valley Division Air Operations was contacted abut 12:30 p.m. Wednesday by the Central Division Air Operations in Fresno requesting assistance in the search. Mount Lamarck is in the Darwin Canyon area, with rugged terrain and elevations of more than 12,000 feet, according to a CHP news release. The Valley Division helicopter crew responded and searched in the area of the GPS coordinates

The crew located 59-year-old Owen Mould of Marin lying in a tent and began looking for a suitable landing site, the news release said.

Two off-duty Sequoia National Park rangers were hiking in the area where Mould was found and made contact with the helicopter crew. The crew asked the rangers to contact Mould to determine the extent of his injuries so they could prepare for the rescue. They learned that he had a severe knee injury and was unable to walk without assistance.

Due to the nearly 12,000-foot elevation, the helicopter had to land at lower elevation and unload gear to reduce weight and increase the helicopter’s performance, the news release said.

Returning to the scene, the crew landed approximately 200 feet below Mould’s tent and hiked to his location. Flight officer/paramedic Brandon Hallam supported most of Mould’s weight on his back and helped him down the steep grade to the helicopter.

Mould was flown to the Mammoth/Yosemite Airport, where he was transferred to Mono County Fire Paramedics and transferred to an area hospital for treatment.

Mould was hiking alone, and the personal locator beacon may have saved his life, the CHP said. The devices sends a distress signal to satellites, which prompt search and rescue crews to respond. In this case, a cell one phone would have had no signal to call or text, the news release said.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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