Atascadero hiker found uninjured

January 22, 2013
Ragged Point Inn

Ragged Point Inn

The Atascadero man who went missing while hiking near Ragged Point was found uninjured Monday morning.

Richard Gates, 44, of Atascadero left around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday to go hiking near Ragged Point. He was equipped with survival gear including a water filtration device to maintain hydration.

Gates fell from the trail and could not get back to it. He followed the proper procedures for survival by staying in place and waiting to be rescued. Went he did not return home his wife reported him as missing.

Search and Rescue crews from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Barbara, Kern, Monterey and Ventura counties began searching for Gates Sunday at 6 p.m.

Gates was found, uninjured, northeast of Ragged Point. A California Highway Patrol helicopter airlifted him to the Ragged Point Inn where he was reunited with his family.

Officials noted that a special thanks goes out to the Ragged Point Inn for providing space for a command post and for hosting Gates’ family, all of which contributed to his safe return.


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Word is that this person was very obese and had to be air lifted to Ragged Pt Restaurant, because he could not hike back up on his own.

Congrats to all LEO and Fire services who risked their lives to return this guy to safety…

I have numerous family members that hike and they all do one thing to keep them out of trouble that this man didn’t. They DON’T hike alone!!!!

Having hiked alone many times, I find it to be a safe and rewarding experience IF one takes the proper precautions before embarking on any kind of hike.

Always notify some one of your intentions and try to include an itinerary that includes departure location and time as well as expected time of return. Always dress appropriately for the time of year, taking into consideration worst case weather scenario. Always take water. You can survive without food…but not without water.. Always sign in and out at of any establish trail head. NEVER cut switchbacks, and carry with you some sort of communication device. It can be anything from a mirror to a whistle, to a satellite phone.

Enjoy your hiking experience!

Thank you to all of the search and rescue volunteer personnel that took time out of their days and nights to help search.

All’s well, that ends well.