MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A Naval Air Station Lemoore search and rescue helicopter experienced difficulties resulting in a hard landing during a rescue mission Saturday, according to the Madera County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say around 10:00 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office received a Garmin activation notification from a hiker who suffered a possible broken ankle in the area of Garnet Lake and Thousand Island Lake, near the Pacific Coast Trail.

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services says they coordinated with Naval Air Station Lemoore SAR to dispatch a helicopter crew to rescue the hiker. 

The responding Search and Rescue helicopter experienced difficulties resulting in a hard landing.  Search and Rescue teams from multiple agencies completed the hours-long hike to reach the injured hiker and NASL helicopter crew. 

All parties were successfully transported according to officials out of the backcountry with the last members arriving at the trailhead around 2:00 a.m. 

Patients were taken to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment.

“The successful completion of this complex mission is a tremendous accomplishment and fine example of the caliber of SAR team members from across the region. We are extremely grateful to our allied partners who offered their assistance without hesitation, and to all of those who responded to complete the rescue. We wish each of the NASL crew members, and the hiker, a speedy recovery.”

Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue

NASL says the cause of the crash is currently under investigation. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

The four service members on board the helicopter according to officials only suffered minor injuries.