Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

For Release: Monday, June 29, 2015

Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 6/22-6/28/15

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
Town of North Elba
McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
Lost Hikers:
On June 23, 2015 at 9:20 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the Lake Placid Fire Department requesting assistance in locating two 19-year-old men - one from New York City and the other from Spring Valley, NY - missing from Buck Island on Lake Placid since 4 p.m. The Lake Placid Fire Department located the two men's boat at Whiteface Landing. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to Whiteface Landing at 10:30 p.m. After checking the lean-tos and not locating the two men, one Forest Ranger continued up the Whiteface Mountain Trail while the other Ranger checked the Connery Pond Trail. At 1:49 a.m., the Forest Ranger heading up Whiteface Mountain made voice contact with the men. He eventually located them in fair condition in a drainage area off the trail. The Ranger provided them with food and water and escorted them back to the trailhead and then to the place where they were staying on Buck Island at 4:00 a.m.

Town of Newcomb
High Peaks Wilderness
Injured Hiker:
On June 25, 2015 at 4:15 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting an injured 48-year-old woman from Dayton, OH near the top of Panther Mountain in the Santanoni Mountain Range. The woman sustained a lower leg injury and said she could not walk. DEC Forest Rangers responded and requested assistance from New York State Police Aviation. Forest Rangers prepared her for transport to Newcomb Air Strip where paramedics from the Newcomb Ambulance Squad waited. After evaluation, the woman decided she would seek medical assistance on her own. Forest Rangers transported her back to her vehicle and the incident concluded at 6:45 p.m.

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Injured Hiker:
On June 26, 2015 at 6:30 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from an injured hiker near the junction of the Tabletop and Mt. Marcy trail. The 62-year-old man from Albany, NY fell and sustained a lower leg injury. An Assistant DEC Forest Ranger responded from the Marcy Dam Interior Outpost and reached the hiker at 8:17 p.m. The Forest Ranger helped the man down the trail to Marcy Dam where an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) waited. Rangers transported the man to the Adirondak Loj at 11:45 p.m. He said he would seek medical assistance on his own.

Town of Newcomb
Hudson Gorge Wilderness
Overdue Hiker:
On June 27 at 12:35 a.m., Washington County 911 transferred a call to DEC Central Dispatch from the son of an overdue hiker. He reported that his 58-year-old mother, from Fort Edward, went hiking on Thursday, June 25 and he had not heard from her since. He thought she had gone to the Shelving Rock area but, after talking with family members, he determined she might have gone to Ok Slip Falls. The Washington County Sheriff's Department responded to the Shelving Rock trailhead but did not locate her vehicle. DEC Forest Rangers located her vehicle at the Ok Slip Falls trailhead and some of her personal items along the Hudson River but did not find her. Dispatch advised the rafting companies that operate on the Hudson River to be on the lookout for the missing woman. At 1:40 p.m., Adirondack River Outfitters notified Dispatch that a guided raft picked up a lost hiker along the Hudson River and brought her to their base at North River. Warren County EMS evaluated her and Rangers briefly interviewed the woman before releasing her. The incident concluded at 3:30 p.m.

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Lost Hiker:
On June 28, 2015 at 5:00 a.m., DEC Central Dispatch received a call from Essex County 911 reporting a lost hiker on Mt. Marcy. Essex County 911 obtained coordinates indicating the 35-year-old man from Cato, NY was near the summit of Mt. Marcy on the Panther Gorge side. Essex County transferred the hiker to Ray Brook Dispatch. He said he was on a trail with a compass and a GPS but did not know where he was. He also reported being in medical distress as he was not prepared for the conditions. Three DEC Forest Rangers, an Assistant Forest Ranger and the Lake Colden Caretaker responded initially. However, at 8:03 a.m., the hiker indicated by text he was now lost off trail and Dispatch advised him to call 911 again to establish a new set of coordinates. The new coordinates indicated he was closer to Schofield Cobble just north of the trail from Mt. Marcy to Panther Gorge. An additional Forest Ranger responded to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve to hike to Panther Gorge. Forest Rangers responded with New York State Police Aviation to search from the air. At 2:02 p.m., the Assistant Forest Ranger and the Lake Colden caretaker located the hiker. Additional Rangers and a critical care technician from Keene Valley Rescue arrived for an initial medical assessment. They initiated a carry-out after weather conditions prevented an aviation rescue. The critical care technician administered fluids to the hiker, enabling him to alternate between walking and being carried. The carry out team brought him to Marcy Landing and then transported him by boat across the Ausable Lakes to a waiting ambulance. The ambulance then transported the man at 3:45 a.m. to Elizabethtown Hospital for treatment.

Washington County
Private Land
Town of Whitehall
Lost Motorists:
On June 25, 2015 at 9:30 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from the Washington County Sheriff's Department in locating a 23-year-old man from Cambridge, NY, an 18-year-old man from Shushan, NY, and an 18-year-old woman from White Creek, NY. The group went off-road riding and became lost and stuck on old logging roads. DEC Forest Rangers responded and through text messages and broken cell phone calls determined the group was near the New York/Vermont border on logging roads behind a private residence. Forest Rangers and the landowner headed out to the logging roads behind the property and relied on text messages and fresh tire tracks to determine the direction of travel. They also advised the group to start blowing their horns. The Forest Rangers and landowner located the group at 12:15 a.m. in good condition. They escorted them to another road and returned them to a third party. The vehicles will be retrieved at a later date. The incident concluded at 1:00 a.m.

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

  • Contact for this Page
  • David Winchell
    1115 NYS Route 86
    P.O. Box 296
    Raybrook, NY 12977
    email us
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to Region 5