911 Call: Hikers Feared They Would Not "Make It to the Morning"

The emergency 911 communications occurred on the night of March 31 when Nicolas Cendoya, 19, and Kyndall Jack, 18, called to report they were lost

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Monday, Apr 8, 2013  |  Updated 9:14 PM PDT
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The 911 call Nicholas Cendoya made from Trabuco Canyon when he and Kyndall Jack became lost and tried to get help was finally released. For more than 20 minutes, the two talked with operators. In those minutes, even before Cendoya realized his battery was going low, you can hear the desperation and fear building. Lucy Noland reports for the NBC4 News on April 8, 2013.

Lucy Noland

The 911 call Nicholas Cendoya made from Trabuco Canyon when he and Kyndall Jack became lost and tried to get help was finally released. For more than 20 minutes, the two talked with operators. In those minutes, even before Cendoya realized his battery was going low, you can hear the desperation and fear building. Lucy Noland reports for the NBC4 News on April 8, 2013.

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Kyndall Jack Speaks About Her Days Lost in Trabuco Canyon

Doctors say 18-year-old Kyndall Jack, the second hiker lost in Trabuco Canyon will be released from the hospital Monday night. She opened up outside UC Irvine Medical Center and she says she doesn't remember much of what happened, but recalls hallucinating and fighting off an animal her first night in the wild. Angie Crouch reports from Orange for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on April 8, 2013.

Missing Hikers' 911 Call

Two missing hikers placed this 911 call to report they were lost during a hike in Orange County March 31, 2013. Listen to 911 audio from the first night of the search for the hikers.
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Emergency 911 calls from the night two hikers called to report they "wandered off" an Orange County trail indicate the teens feared they may not "make it to the morning" as search teams were grounded because of weather conditions.

Audio: Excerpt From 911 Call

On the March 31 911 call, Nicolas Cendoya, 19 reported that he and 18-year-old and Kyndall Jack were lost in the Trabuco Canyon area of Cleveland National Forest in the Santa Ana Mountains. The disptacher can be heard asking whether they remembered passing several reference points and explaining that search crews were limited to a ground search during that night because of fog.

"We wandered off the trail," Cendoya said. "I don't even know if we're going to make it to the morning because we have no water."

Their cell phone died after the call, during which they can be heard calling for help. They told the dispatcher they could not hear search crews, who also were calling out to them.

The two, both inexperienced hikers, departed on what Jack told friends was an "adventure" -- a dayhike along popular Holy Jim Trail. During Sunday night's 911 call -- before the two were separated -- Cendoya told the dispatcher they were less than one mile from a trail. The dispatcher attempted to find out how far from the trailhead the two went off the trail.

"We went like a mile from my car," Cendoya said.

"You said you're at the top of a mountain?" the dispatcher asked.

"The very, very top," Cendoya answered.

Cendoya was found Wednesday night about 500 feet up a steep ridge off Trabuco Creek Road. Rescuers had to cut through brush to rescue him. He was released from the hospital Sunday.

Jack, rescued at mid-day Thursday, remained hospitalized Sunday. At an afternoon press conference outside the hospital, she said she felt lucky to be alive and thanked her rescuers.

She said she had no memory of the ordeal other than that she and Cendoya wanted to climb to the top of the canyon before nightfall.

"I thought I was in a big dream," she said. "We wanted to touch the clouds."

Both were severely dehydrated, disoriented and covered in scratches and bruises after a series of cold nights waiting for rescue.

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