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Hikers cited after dangerous Malibu Canyon rescue

Four hikers hoisted by helicopter from Malibu Canyon about 3 a.m. Sunday were cited by state park rangers for "unsafe recreational activities," officials said.

The group had crossed Malibu Creek when the water was low, but became stranded as rain deluged the drainage. They called authorities about 6:30 p.m. Saturday, and Los Angeles County sheriff's search-and-rescue teams deployed on the ground, slogging up the narrow canyon with little visibility, sliding mud and a creek that had become a roaring river.

A Ventura County sheriffs helicopter crew spotted the hikers hunkered down on a rock in the middle of the rushing water and sent a rescuer down to help hoist them up. The ground crews were about 200 yards away.

"One of the rescuers said it was one of the most dangerous rescues he'd done in 22 years," sheriffs Capt. Michael Parker said. He said it took the rescuers on the ground 2 1/2 hours to get back to the base of operations.

The hikers were suffering from the onset of hypothermia, Parker said, but suffered no injuries. They were identified as Savun Chhath, 25, Jonathan Lucero, 26, Janette Recinos, 25, and Billy Chum, 25, all from Long Beach.

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