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For Release: Monday, May 4, 2015

Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 4/27-5/3/15

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

"DEC Forest Rangers' knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are often critical to the success of their missions," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "Search and rescue missions often require Rangers to function in remote wilderness areas from rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and through vast forest areas from spruce-fir thicket to open hardwoods."

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:

Essex County
High Peaks Wilderness
Town of North Elba
Lost Youths
: On April 28 at 6:50 p.m., Essex County 911 contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting two teenage girls lost in the vicinity of the railroad tracks near the Lake Placid Fire House. The two girls, both from Lake Placid, had been walking on the tracks toward Ray Brook at approximately 3:30 p.m. when they veered off the tracks following what they believed to be a trail. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the area. The girls had a disposable phone, so emergency crews could not obtain exact GPS coordinates. At 8:30 p.m. DEC Forest Rangers located the girls near the base of Seymour Mountain, approximately one mile down the tracks. Rangers escorted the girls, who were in good condition, back to the Lake Placid Fire House where they were released to their parents.

High Peaks Wilderness
Town of Keene
Injured Hiker:
On April 29 at 6:40 p.m., a DEC Forest Ranger, on patrol in the High Peaks Wilderness, encountered an injured hiker. The 71-year-old man from Chaddsford, PA slipped on an ice slab near Rainbow Falls injuring his leg. The man walked out on his own to his vehicle, which was parked at the Ausable Club parking area. No further action was required. The incident concluded at 7:05 p.m.

High Peaks Wilderness
Town of North Elba
Overdue Hiker:
On May 3 at 9:15 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received reports of an overdue hiker in the High Peaks Wilderness. The wife of a 50-year-old man from Fairport reported her husband planned to stay Saturday night at the Klondike lean-to, climb Yard and Big Slide, and return home Sunday. DEC Forest Rangers responded and located the hiker's vehicle at South Meadow. After checking the Garden parking area in Keene Valley, Forest Rangers went in on the Klondike Trail. They located the hiker at the Klondike lean-to at 2:00 a.m. in good condition. The hiker decided to stay an extra night at the lean-to due to the physically demanding hiking conditions, which included a heavy snow pack and the fact that he had a broken headlamp. Rangers escorted him back to his vehicle at South Meadow at 4:00 a.m.

Hamilton County
Blue Ridge Wilderness
Town of Indian Lake
Lost Hiker:
On April 30 at 2:10 p.m., a 52-year-old Latham man contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting he was lost on the Rock Pond and Rock River Trail without any food or water. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the area and determined the man was lost on a snowmobile trail. They advised him to follow the trail markers and located him at 3:07 p.m. The Rangers escorted him back to his vehicle. The incident concluded at 3:30 p.m.

St. Lawrence County
Five Ponds Wilderness
Town of Fine
Lost Hikers:
On April 29 at 1:37 p.m., two hikers contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting that they had gotten lost while attempting to locate the fire tower in Wanakena. The 62-year-old woman and 75-year-old man, both from Ticonderoga, had apparently lost their way on one of the many logging roads in that area. DEC advised them to call St. Lawrence County 911 and request the coordinates of their location. DEC Forest Rangers located the pair at 2:52 p.m. in good condition and escorted them back to their vehicle. No further action was required. The incident concluded at 4:00 p.m.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC's Hiking Safety and Adirondack Trail Information web for more information.

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