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For Release: Monday, November 30, 2015

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 11/23 - 11/29/15

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."

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers include:

Essex County

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Lost Hikers:
On November 28, 2015 at 7:18 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker reporting that while he, his son and grandson were descending Nye Mountain they lost the trail. The 61-year-old man from Watervliet, NY reported that he and his hiking party were near Indian Pass Brook and could not tell where the trail continued. Essex County 911 provided GPS coordinates of their location and a DEC Forest Ranger responded. The Forest Ranger located the party at 8:28 p.m. and escorted them back to their vehicle at ADK Loj. The group did have a compass, map and lights, but could not determine what direction they needed to travel. The incident concluded at 9:29 p.m.

Chenango County

Town of Coventry
Bobell State Forest
Lost Hunter:
On November 29, 2015 at 12:40 p.m., Chenango County 911 received a call from a hunter reporting his brother missing. The man said he and his 81-year-old brother, from Port Crane, NY, began hunting at Bobell State Forest at around 9 a.m. and planned to meet at noon for lunch at their vehicle on Whylie-Horton Road. When the brother did not show up, the man called 911. A DEC Forest Ranger overheard Chenango County 911 dispatch a sheriff's deputy to the scene to investigate the incident and headed that way as well. Once on the scene, the Ranger interviewed the man about his brother and his hunting habits. A DEC Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO), additional hunters and local search teams also joined the search. Crews located the missing hunter at 3:45 p.m. walking toward Cueball Road. The man claimed he lost his way and was not sure of his location or where he parked his vehicle. The Coventry Medical Squad evaluated and then released him.

Warren County

Lake George
Lost Hunter:
Search efforts will continue this week for 82-year-old Thomas Messick. The Troy hunter has not been seen since November 15 in the Lake George Wild Forest near Lily Pond in the Town of Horicon, Warren County. Since then, hundreds of searchers have combed thousands of acres by foot and air trying to locate him, with no results.

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

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