Woman, 19, dies at Cedar Creek Falls; sheriff issues heat warning

Sheriff’s officials issued an excessive heat warning Wednesday after a 19-year-old woman died on the Julian side of Cedar Creek Falls on Monday and emergency crews responded to two other distressed hikers with a dog and an elderly man needing assistance on Tuesday.

Responding to a rescue call at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, a sheriff’s helicopter crew found Lynn Thu Tran unconscious with possible signs of heat stroke. They airlifted her to Palomar Medical Center, where death was pronounced, the medical examiner’s office reported.

At 2:30 p.m. July 10, a sheriff’s helicopter responded to a call of a couple and dog in distress, also on the Julian side of the falls, the sheriff’s department reported. The couple only needed water and was able to walk back on their own, but their dog needed rescue.

While transporting the dog, a group of hikers flagged the helicopter and the rescue crew reported finding a 79-year-old man sitting against a rock complaining of weakness and dizziness. They hoisted him to an ambulance at a nearby Cal Fire station, they reported, adding that the man and dog will recover.

Since January of 2012, ASTREA (Aerial Support To Regional Enforcement Agencies, the air support unit of the sheriff’s department) reports responding to four rescues at Cedar Creek Falls. They made 20 rescues at the falls from January to July of 2011.

No matter your level of health, anyone needs to be careful of the dangers of walking in the heat, officials stated.

“Take it easy when temperatures are this hot,” reads a department release. “Move your exercise indoors or schedule any outdoor activity for early morning or evening to avoid the real heat of the day. It’s also important to remember your pets and ensure they are not overexposed to heat and have plenty of water.

Among other safety tips from the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit:

•Buddy up. Walk or exercise with a partner. If something happens, you’ll have someone to help.

•Phone home. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. A cellphone could provide a connection to emergency assistance.

•Drink. Stay hydrated before, during and after exercise.

•Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored and breathable clothing. Bring a hat and sunglasses. Wear sunscreen.

•Take regular breaks. Find some shade or a cool place to stop.

•Head inside. If the heat seems overwhelming, don’t sweat it.

   
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