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Labor Day search efforts continue for missing hiker, Tim Sgrignoli

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Posted at 4:40 PM, Sep 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-05 23:39:11-04

Ground crews, canines and drones continue working together in the ongoing search for missing hiker, Tim Sgrignoli, 29, of Ventura.

Officials with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department say they received a call at about 2 p.m. Sunday about a male and female hiker in distress on the Trespass Trail near Gaviota Hot Springs. Public information officer Scott Safechuck says as soon as a helicopter was dispatched to provide aid to the couple, Sgrignoli left his partner to search for help and find water.

"We were able to make a good rescue in getting her off the mountain and keeping her symptoms to a mild status," Safechuck told KSBY. "But unfortunately, we have been actively trying to look for the missing person for almost, going on close to 20 hours now."

Safechuck says there are approximately 60 people involved in the search, with members from the San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura County sheriff's offices climbing through the steep, rugged terrain in search of Sgrignoli.

Ground crews at their base camp also emphasizing the physically taxing efforts of the operation.

"We did sleep here last night, a little bit of sleep," said Battalion Chief to the department, Josh Cazier. "We had to call off search efforts at approximately 3:30 in the morning due to the search dogs being physically exhausted."

And as local temperatures flirt with triple digits this Labor Day, officials are weighing in on the dangers of strenuous outdoor activities like hiking amid this heatwave.

"I would say that the heat is directly related to the symptoms they were feeling on the side of that hill. When you exert yourself in weather that is over 90 degrees and you are on the side of a hillside, and you have that direct sunlight on you, you start to dehydrate," added Captain Safechuck.

Cazier also reflecting on the platoon of personnel bearing the heat to take on these rescue efforts, despite the holiday weekend. "We have a duty to act, and no matter what, holidays, nights, days, weekends, middle of the night, daylight, 100 degrees, snowing, we all have a duty to respond for our citizens," Cazier said.

Officials say new ground and canine crews are being rotated in regularly throughout the search. Their base camp also has food, water, and other resources available for units searching along the trail.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is now lead on the search.

KNBC reports the female hiker is also from Ventura.