Montrose Search and Rescue airlifted a 14-year-old out of Tujunga’s Mount Lukens on Sunday afternoon, after the teen became separated from his father while hiking, said Reserve Chief Mike Leum.
Leum said an air and ground team of eight was deployed around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday afterDaniel Rubendall called the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station to report that he had gotten separated from his son Ryan near the top of Palm Drive in La Cañada Flintridge.
Ryan Rubendall was spotted by a patrol helicopter at the top of Mount Lukens, more than five miles from the trail entrance. He was then airlifted to Verdugo Hills Hospital, but sustained no major injuries.
The elder Rubendall said numerous people from the nearby neighborhood assisted with the search, something that surprised and heartened him.
“I couldn’t believe how many people from the community were out there looking,” he said.
Leum said he was surprised Ryan didn’t have a cell phone on him.
“I don’t know too many 14-year-olds that don’t have a cell phone with them all the time,” he said.
Leum said the incident highlighted the importance of staying together when hiking.
“They did one right thing by not hiking alone, hiking with someone else is always recommended,” said Leum. “But rule number two is never separate, so therein lies the problem.”
Rubendall said he is just happy his son is safe.
“It was the scariest moment of my life, obviously, but the response was great from everybody and I’m just glad it turned out good.”
-- Daniel Siegal, Times Community News