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Couple rescued near Joshua Tree National Park after water ran out

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A couple hiking in the desert south of Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California were rescued after running out of water, authorities said.

On Sunday, the man called 911 and reported that his girlfriend was dehydrated and weak, according to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office posted on social media on Monday.

A search and rescue helicopter crew was dispatched to the area known as Painted Canyon on June 9, when temperatures reached triple digits, and found the couple huddled in a dry creek bed, the office said.

A video posted online by the Sheriff’s Office shows the helicopter hovering over the couple lying on the desert floor as the man tries to shield her from the blazing sun and wind with his body. The man and woman were then lifted into the helicopter one by one.

The couple was flown to a landing zone where an aeromedical helicopter rushed the woman to a hospital “due to her serious condition,” according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit Rescue 9 station. The man was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, the sheriff’s office told SFGATE.

The deserts of Southern California are among the hottest areas in the state. On June 9, weather stations near the Painted Canyon area saw highs ranging from 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 to 40.6 degrees Celsius), according to the National Weather Service.

“Keep in mind that as temperatures rise, take more water than you think you need, have a walking plan and tell two people where you are going,” the Sheriff’s Department said.