Couple rescued from desert near California's Joshua Tree National Park after running out of water

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A couple hiking in the desert south of Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California was rescued after running out of water, authorities said.

On Sunday, the man called 911 and reported that his girlfriend was dehydrated and weak, according to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office posted Monday on social media.

A search and rescue helicopter crew was dispatched on June 9, when temperatures reached triple digits, to the area known as Painted Canyon and found the couple huddled in a dry creek bed, the office said.

A video posted online by the Sheriff's Office shows the helicopter hovering above the couple lying on the desert floor, with the man trying to shield her with his body from the blazing sun and wind. The man and woman were then hoisted into the helicopter one by one.

The couple was flown to a landing zone where an aeromedical helicopter rushed the woman to a hospital “due to her severe condition,” according to Riverside County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit’s Rescue 9 post. The man was transported to a local hospital by ambulance, the sheriff’s office told SFGATE.

The deserts of Southern California are among the hottest areas in the state. On June 9, weather stations near the Painted Canyon area saw highs ranging from 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 to 40.6 Celsius), according to the National Weather Service.

“Please remember as the temps increase take more water than you think you will need, have a hiking plan, and tell two people where you are going,” the Sheriff’s Department said.

The Associated Press