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Ventura County Focus

Copter Rescues 2 Men on Los Padres Trail

November 01, 1996|SCOTT STEEPLETON

Two men were plucked from Los Padres National Forest by helicopter Thursday morning, after spending a cold night stuck on the Ortega Trail north of Ojai, authorities said.

Mike O'Conner, 40, and Mike Lunde, 33, both of Ventura, went target shooting in the forest 10 miles north of Ojai on Wednesday, when their off-road vehicle got stuck in the mud, said Sandra Vanni of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department Lockwood Valley Station.

A wife of one of the men called authorities when they did not return home. At first light Thursday morning, a sheriff's helicopter went out to look for the men and saw them walking on the Ortega Trail, Vanni said. The men were then airlifted to Ojai.

"They had been very cold, but there were no injuries," Vanni said.

On Thursday afternoon, the vehicle was still stuck and O'Conner and Lunde were trying to figure out how to get it out, Vanni said.

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