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Elderly Hiker, Dog Rescued After Night Spent in Marin County Creek Bed

FAIRFAX (CBS SF) -- A 71-year-old hiker and his dog were rescued Sunday morning after they spent the night in a creek drainage in the Cascade Canyon area near Fairfax, the Marin County Sheriff's Office said.

The hiker, whose name was not released, and his dog Yarrow were hiking in the area late Saturday afternoon. When they did not return home by nightfall, a search was mounted quickly by the Fairfax police department and the Marin County Open Space District. The sheriff's office said Marin Search and Rescue joined the search about 10 p.m. Saturday and Marin County Search and Rescue and the sheriff's drone team also joined in the search but, by 3 a.m., Sunday had not found the man nor the dog.

Marin Rescue of Hiker, Dog Near Fairfax
(Marin County Sheriff's Office Photo)

Mutual aid search-and-rescue resources from Sonoma, San Mateo and Contra Costa Counties, as well as the California Rescue Dog Association, resumed the search at about 7 a.m. Sunday.

Soon thereafter, the Marin sheriff's office said, the hiker had found cellphone coverage and called a family member. His location was traced by cell signal to a steep drainage in the upper San Anselmo Creek area. A ground team eventually found the hiker, who was uninjured but too exhausted to hike out on his own, a sheriff's deputy said Sunday afternoon.

Plans were made to carry the hiker out either via the creek drainage or up a difficult hill path but a Cal Fire rescue helicopter deployed and airlifted the man out of the canyon. The dog hiked up the canyon with rescue crews and the hiker and dog were reunited with family members at a nearby command post.

The hiker was able to go home with his family, according to Sgt. Brenton Schneider with the Marin County Sheriff's Office.

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