NAPA COUNTY (CBS SF) — A California Highway Patrol helicopter crew rescued a stranded hiker in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park in Napa County early Tuesday morning.

The CHP was contacted at 12:45 a.m. by Napa County firefighters who were looking for help in locating a 53-year-old man who had become lost and injured while hiking near the Lake County line, east of Mount Saint Helena.

They dispatched Helicopter 30, and the crew began searching by air but wasn’t able to find the hiker. CHP officials said they landed nearby, exited the helicopter and began yelling to see if they could get an answer.

Almost immediately, they received a response from about half a mile away, according to the CHP.

They were initially unable to reach the hiker on foot because of the rough terrain, so they took off again and spotted the man with night-vision goggles as he waved his cellphone in the air, CHP Officer James Andrews said.

Medics on the ground were able to hike to him, but couldn’t carry him out because of the terrain, so the helicopter returned at first light and conducted a “hoist rescue,” Andrews said.

The CHP used a line to lower an officer down from the helicopter through tall trees. The hiker was hoisted to the helicopter, and was later transferred to a ground ambulance and taken to Queen of the Valley Medical Center.

His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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