News account posted by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
When you’re a deputy, you never know what your day (or night) will bring! Steven Snover, one of our Gorman deputies, received a phone call from SCV Sheriff’s Station shortly after midnight this morning.
A man and woman in their 20’s, had left to go camping but were now lost. Their car had broken down earlier in the evening, and they had set out on foot. The sun had went down, it was dark, and they found themselves in unfamiliar territory- not knowing their whereabouts.
The couple was able to get a signal to call 9-1-1, and they were in text communication with family members, providing their approximate GPS coordinates. Snover, with the assistance of SCV Sheriff’s dispatchers and Ventura County Sheriff’s dispatchers, who had also dispatched one of their deputies to assist, worked together to help determine the couple’s location. Originally the location was thought to be near Hungry Valley State Park, but it was later determined that they were most likely in the Lockwood Valley area.
Deputy Snover, who is familiar with the backroads out in the Los Padres National Forest, said that he drove up and down the roads in the complete darkness of the night. He said, “I just kept flashing the lights on my vehicle as I drove, hoping they would see me.”
He successfully located the man and woman in the early morning hours on Alamo Mountain with the assistance of family members of the missing couple and our partners from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. The young adults were a bit shaken by the experience but otherwise in good physical condition. Snover transported the couple in his sport utility patrol vehicle out of the remote location.
“It turns out,” Snover commented, “They really hadn’t thought about what if something goes wrong when they set out. I think they learned a valuable lesson.”
Deputy Snover gave good advice for future campers/hikers.
“If you should get lost, and have the GPS latitude/longitude coordinates- stay where you are at so that we can find you easier and don’t keep walking. And before you set out, make sure you tell your family members exactly where you are going to be at. Have a plan, know where you’re going before you get there. And if you’re not familiar with an area, don’t leave after it’s dark.”
Another interesting observation Snover made, “GPS can provide coordinates even if you have no data signal. But, without a data signal you can’t download the map to see where that really is.”