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For Release: Monday, April 18, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 4/11-4/17/16

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 Minerva
Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest
Lost hikers:
On April 14, 2016 at 8:10 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for two hikers who became disoriented on Vanderwhacker Mountain. A 22-year-old man from Huntsville, AL and a 24-year-old woman from Harbor City, CA told Dispatch they had some food and water, and flashlights. Essex County 911 provided GPS Coordinates that placed the pair on the trail. One DEC Forest Ranger responded and established voice contact at 10:36 p.m., and located the hikers at 10:45 p.m. in good condition. The Forest Ranger escorted them to his vehicle and transported them about two miles back to their vehicle. The incident concluded at 11:56 p.m.

Town of St. Armand
McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
Injured hiker:
On April 16, 2016 at 11:43 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Franklin County 911 reporting a 51-year-old woman from Jordan, NY with a non-weight bearing lower leg injury near the summit of Mount Baker. Five DEC Forest Rangers responded for a possible carryout. The first Ranger reached the woman at 12:35 p.m. After assessing the injury, Rangers decided to hoist the woman out by New York State Police Aviation. Rangers and NYSP Aviation extracted the woman at 1:30 p.m. and transported her by helicopter to AMC-Saranac Lake for treatment. The incident concluded at 1:45 p.m.

Hamilton County
Town of Indian Lake
Siamese Ponds Wilderness
Lost hikers:
On April 14, 2016 at 6:32 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for two hikers who became disoriented on Chimney Mountain. A 26-year-old and 22-year-old women, both from New Hartford, NY hiked in from Big Brook Road and lost the trail during their decent. One New York State Police unit, already on scene at the trailhead, activated the car siren in hopes the women would follow the sound and head towards them. DEC Forest Rangers responded to Chimney Mountain and reestablished contact with the women and instructed them to contact Hamilton County 911 to obtain their GPS coordinates. The coordinates placed them southwest of the trail. The Rangers located the women at 10:15 p.m. and escorted them out to their vehicle. No medical attention was required. The incident concluded at 11:10 p.m.

Town of Indian Lake
Blue Mountain Wild Forest
Lost hikers:
On April 16, 2016 at 7:10 p.m., New York State Police in Latham transferred a call to DEC Central Dispatch from a 19-year-old man and two 21-year-old men, all from Whitesboro, NY, lost on a trail on Blue Mountain in Indian Lake. State Police obtained GPS coordinates and relayed them to the responding DEC Forest Ranger at 7:15 p.m. The Ranger called the men and instructed the hikers to walk down stream. The Ranger arrived on scene and hiked up stream from Wells Rd., locating the man at 8:00 p.m. The hikers left the trail because of icy conditions and were unable to locate it again without proper gear. The men did not require any medical attention.

Sullivan County
Town of Forestburgh
Lost Person:
On April 17, 2016 at 9:28 p.m., a Forest Ranger heard on Sullivan County 911 about a possible missing 77-year-old man. The man's wife called 911 after her husband had been missing for over 5 hours and it was starting to get dark. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded to the area along with the Forestburgh Fire Department, Sullivan County Sheriff's office and the Sullivan County Search and Rescue Team. They searched the area near the man's residence and located him, in good health, just after 10:00 p.m.

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

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