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For Release: Monday, November 9, 2015

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 11/2-11/8/15

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.

"Across New York, DEC's Forest Rangers are on the front lines helping people safely enjoy the great outdoors," said Acting DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Their knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are critical to the success of their missions which take them from remote wilderness areas, with rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and throughout our vast forested areas statewide. We are happy to celebrate their successful accomplishments this week."

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers include:

Essex County

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness

Lost Hiker: On November 5, 2015 at 7:45 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a female hiker reporting she was uncertain of her location on the trail from Mt. Marcy to Marcy Dam. The 32-year-old woman from Buffalo, NY did not want to proceed because she did not have a map, compass or light. Ray Brook Dispatch advised her to stay where she was to maintain communications. A DEC Forest Ranger responded to her GPS coordinates, which placed the woman just below Indian Falls. The Ranger located her at 9:45 p.m. just above the boulder crossing of Phelps Brook. The Forest Ranger escorted her back to the Adirondak Loj. The incident concluded at 11:30 p.m.

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness

Lost Hikers: On November 7, 2015 at 5:00 p.m., Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a male hiker on Scarface Mountain reporting he was off the trail and lost. The 16-year-old boy from Orchard NY, became separated from the two other members of his hiking party. At 5:20 p.m. the other members of the hiking party, two 18-year-old females from West Seneca, called Franklin County 911 reporting they too were lost. Franklin County 911 obtained GPS coordinates to both locations and passed them along to DEC. DEC Forest Rangers responded, located the women at 7:00 p.m., escorted them out to the trailhead and brought them to the Ray Brook office. At 7:16 p.m., Rangers located the 16-year-old boy and escorted him out of the woods and back to his vehicle where he proceeded to the Ray Brook office to pick up the women. No member of the hiking party had a map, compass or lights. The incident concluded at 8:20 p.m.

Town of Jay
Jay Mountain Wilderness
Lost Hikers:
On November 8, 2015 at 5:00 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from two lost hikers. A 43-year-old man from Outremont, Quebec and a 54-year-old woman from Montreal, Quebec, lost the trail after descending from the summit of Jay Mountain. They did not have a map, compass or lights. One DEC Forest Ranger responded and located the hikers in good health at 7:30 p.m. The Ranger escorted them back to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 9:30 p.m.

Warren County

Town of Lake George
Lake George Wild Forest

Lost Hikers: On November 5, 2015 at 5:09 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a female hiker reporting she and her daughter were lost on the trails near Prospect Mountain. The 55-year-old and 22-year-old women, both from Lake George, NY stated they were on an unmarked trail with no lights and needed assistance getting back to their vehicle. Ray Brook Dispatch contacted the local DEC Forest Ranger. Using the GPS coordinates obtained from both Warren County and the caller's cell phone, the Forest Ranger obtained an accurate location and requested a second Ranger respond to assist with communications at the trailhead. At 6:07 p.m. Rangers located the women in good health and escorted them out to their vehicle at the trailhead parking lot. The incident concluded at 7:00 p.m.

Washington County

Town of Fort Ann
Lake George Wild Forest
Injured Climber:
On November 8, 2015 at 1:10 p.m., Washington County 911 contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting an injured 61-year-old male climber from Queensbury, NY at Shelving Rock. The climber reportedly fell approximately 15 feet, sustaining a lower leg injury. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded, along with the West Fort Ann and Fort Ann Fire Departments and EMS. Forest Rangers reached the climber at 2:15 p.m. and used steep angle rope techniques to lower him about 200 feet to the roadside. The climber was attempting to free climb using hooks in the slab left by past climbers. His rope missed the second protection bolt and he fell. West Fort Ann Ems transported him to Glens Falls Hospital for treatment. The incident concluded at 4:00 p.m.

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

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