NEWS, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lt. Jeff Hallock, 714.904.7042, JHallock@ocsd.org
Missing Mountain Biker Located Uninjured
CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. – (November 13, 2014) – On Thursday, November 13, 2014 at approximately 1:00 p.m., Orange County Sheriff’s Department Search & Rescue located James Kretzschmar, 40, Irvine, in the Lyon Canyon area of the Cleveland National Forest. Kretzschmar was reported missing to the Irvine Police Department shortly before midnight on Wednesday, November 12. He was located with his mountain bike, uninjured and in good health.
On Thursday, November 13 at approximately 1:30 a.m., Orange County Sheriff’s Department was contacted by the Irvine Police Department indicating Kretzschmar was missing and requesting assistance with a search of an area in the Cleveland National Forest. Relatives of Kretzschmar indicated that his vehicle, a silver Mercedes Benz sedan, was located off Ortega Highway in an unincorporated area east of the city of San Juan Capistrano, an area he recently discussed wanting to ride his mountain bike. The initial ground/air search lasted for approximately two hours but was terminated due to darkness and poor weather conditions.
At approximately 6:00 a.m., Orange County Sheriff Search & Rescue teams resumed a search utilizing both ground and air units. Shortly before 1:00 p.m., ground teams heard a male yelling for “help” in the Lyon Canyon area, approximately five miles into the canyon from the San Juan Fire Station. The area was immediately plotted utilizing GPS coordinates, allowing search teams to locate Kretzschmar. Due to being uninjured and in good health, Kretzschmar was escorted out on foot with his mountain bike.
Kretzschmar refused to indicate to investigators whether he became lost or the reason for needing to be located by Search & Rescue personnel. As a precaution, Kretzschmar was evaluated by Orange County Fire Authority paramedics and released
The Sheriff’s Department recommends people take necessary precautions when engaging in outdoor recreational activities in rural areas of the county. It is always recommended to travel in groups, provide itineraries and an expected time of return, bring a communication device and always carry a flashlight, even if you do not expect to be out after dark. Preparation for your selected activity will increase your safety in the event of an emergency situation.
NOTE: Orange County Sheriff’s Department Search & Rescue personnel are reserve deputy sheriffs who volunteer countless hours each year to search operations throughout the county.
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