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Couple rescued from desert near California's Joshua Tree National Park after running out of water

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 Monday on social media.

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

Video posted online by the sheriff's office shows the helicopter flying over the couple lying on the desert floor, the man trying to shield her with his body from the blazing sun and wind. The man and woman were then lifted into the helicopter one by one.

The couple was airlifted to a landing zone where an aeromedical helicopter transported the woman to the hospital “due to her serious condition,” according to the Rescue 9 post from the county sheriff's office aviation unit of Riverside. The man was transported to a local hospital by ambulance, the sheriff's office told SFGATE.

Southern California's deserts are among the hottest regions in the state. On June 9, weather stations near the Painted Canyon area recorded temperatures ranging from 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 to 40.6 Celsius), according to the National Weather Service.

“Remember, as temperatures rise, take more water than you think you need, have a hiking plan and tell two people where you are going,” the sheriff's department said.

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