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Arroyo Grande man rescued from Los Padres National Forest

An unidentified Arroyo Grande man was rescued by a Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue team on Sunday after he failed to return from a day hike.

The lone male hiker in his early 40s attempted a one-day 17-mile loop hike from Nira Campground in the Los Padres National Forest on Saturday. Friends and family alerted the Sheriff's Office when he did not show up at a prearranged dinner engagement, according to a news release from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

The identity of the hiker is not available, said Drew Sugars, Sheriff's Office spokesman. As the sun was going down Saturday, the hiker decided to take a shortcut across country but was slowed down by dense brush and bivouacked for the night.

At dawn Sunday, a search-and-rescue team began a search of the Manzana and Hurricane Deck areas. After two hours, a helicopter spotted the man in thick brush north of Happy Hunting Ground Campground. He used a mirror he had in his day pack to signal the helicopter, which was able to land nearby and pick him up.

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