On March 15, 2005, the Santa Clara County Helicopter Unit, Star 1, was dispatched to assist the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and a CHP Helicopter crew locate a lost hiker, in a remote area east of Highway 1. They had been searching for the hiker for about 7 hours when the CHP Helicopter searchlight burned out.
Upon the arrival of Star 1, they quickly located the hiker with the GPS coordinates provided by CHP. The ground crews were quickly dispatched to retrieve the hiker. However, after 1.5 hours they determined that the due to the rugged terrain that they could not get to the hiker.
Star 1, equipped with Night Vision Goggles, which allows them to see through the night as if were daytime, made an unprecedented landing in this region, and rescued the hiker.
If Star 1 was not equipped with the Night Vision Goggles, that landing would not have been possible.
The Night Vision Goggles were purchased with Homeland Security Grant Funds.
For more information about Star 1 and its capabilities please contact Captain Edward Perry at (408) 808-4770.