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For Release: Tuesday, July 26, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 7/18-7/24/16

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 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 Keene
Giant Mountain Wilderness
Distressed hiker:
On July 22, 2016 at 2:18 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from a 20-year-old woman from Hannibal, NY in medical distress near the summit of Giant Mountain. DEC Forest Rangers responded, located and stabilized the woman. The Rangers then escorted her to the trailhead where she said she would seek medical attention on her own. The incident concluded at 5:20 p.m.

Town of Keene
High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker:
On July 22, 2016 at 4:24 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 20-year-old man from Montclair, NJ in medical distress at the Flowed Lands Lean-to. A DEC Forest Ranger and the Lake Colden Caretaker responded. They stabilized the man and escorted him to the Lake Colden Outpost to stay the night. Rangers escorted him out through the Upperworks in the morning.

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Lost hiker:
On July 24, 2016 at 5:15 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the Marcy Summit Steward reporting that the hiking companion of a 58-year-old man from Bethesda, MD with special needs became separated from him at the junction of Mount Van Hovenberg and Hopkins Mountain Junction. An Assistant DEC Forest Ranger hiked from Johns Brook Outpost and located the lost hiker. The Assistant Ranger helped the man down to the trailhead where DEC Forest Rangers escorted him to the Adirondak Loj where he reunited with his companion. The incident concluded at 1:30 a.m. the following morning.

Franklin County
Town of Brighton
Private Land
Lost hiker:
On July 19, 2016 at 2:45 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from Franklin County 911 requesting assistance for a 34-year-old man from Akwesasne, NY who became separated from his party on the Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) nature trails. The group members, Paul Smiths College Campus Security, and VIC staff searched for the man for approximately two hours before requesting additional resources. DEC Forest Rangers arrived on scene at 3:15 p.m. The lost man did have a cell phone but there was limited cell phone service in the area. When searchers were finally able to contact him, Rangers directed him to call 911 in order to obtain his GPS coordinates. 911 then relayed the coordinates to Forest Rangers on scene. They located the man at 4:24 p.m. in good health and escorted him back to the VIC where he was reunited with his party. The incident concluded at 5:15 p.m.

Town of Tupper Lake
High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker:
On July 24, 2016 at 4:05 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a radio transmission from the Raquette Falls Outpost requesting assistance for a 14-year-old girl from Danbury, CT in medical distress. Her hiking party was able to stabilize her condition. A DEC Forest Ranger met the group near Axton Pond and escorted her out. The Tupper Lake Volunteer Ambulance then transported her to an area hospital for medical treatment. The incident concluded at 5:05 p.m. New York State Police assisted in the rescue.

Hamilton County
Town of Arietta
Ferris Lake Wild Forest
Lost hiker:
On July 20, 2016 at 8:45 p.m., Fulton County 911 notified DEC Ray Brook Dispatch about an 81-year-old missing male hiker from Arietta. They located his vehicle in the town of Arietta adjacent to the Silver Lake Wilderness where they concentrated search efforts. Search efforts continued through the following days. On July 22, New York State Police Aviation flew DEC Forest Rangers on an aerial observation flight to search for the man. Forest Rangers spotted him at approximately 12:15 p.m. and managed to land the helicopter in a nearby marsh. They loaded the man into the helicopter and flew him to Piseco airport where the Piseco Ambulance Corps transported him to an area hospital for medical treatment. The Fulton County Sheriff's Office and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office assisted in the search.

Town of Indian Lake
Blue Mountain Wild Forest
Lost hiker:
On July 23, 2016 at 5:07 p.m., DEC Central Dispatch transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook for a request for assistance for a lost 51-year-old male hiker from Hudson Falls, NY. The man had been hiking on the Rock River trail and got turned around on a snowmobile trail. He stated he could hear the road but could not make his way out. A DEC Forest Ranger responded, located the man and escorted him back to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 6:14 p.m.

Lewis County
Town of Watson
Independence River Wild Forest
Lost hikers:
On Monday July 18, 2016 at 8:40 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from Lewis County 911 for a 18-year-old male from Boonville, NY, a 17-year-old male from Port Leyden, NY, a 16-year-old male from Constableville, NY, and a 18-year-old female from Turin, NY who became lost while hiking from Beach Mill Road to Gleasman Falls. Cell phone coordinates placed the group approximately 2/3 of a mile from Panther Pond. DEC Forest Rangers responded to Beach Mill Road and Smith Road. They located the teenagers at 11:17 p.m. and escorted them out to the trailhead in good health. The incident concluded at 1:08 a.m. the following morning. New York State Police, the Lewis County Sheriff's Office, and a DEC Environmental Conservation Officer assisted in the search.

Warren County
Town of Lake George
Lake George Wild Forest
Lost hikers:
On July 18, 2016 at 12:53 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from a 31-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman, both from Brooklyn, NY, lost on Prospect Mountain. They had followed a herd path and become lost off trail without a map or compass. DEC Dispatch directed the callers to contact 911 to obtain their GPS coordinates. 911 relayed the coordinates to two DEC Forest Rangers patrolling nearby. Rangers located the hikers off trail on ledges overlooking the Prospect Mountain toll road and escorted them back to their vehicle in good health. The incident concluded at 2:05 p.m.

Greene County
Town of Hunter
Indian Head Wilderness
Lost Hiker:
On Sunday, July 17, 2016, at 5:47 p.m., DEC central dispatch received a call requesting assistance for a lost 46-year-old male hiker in the Hunter Mt. area who hiked about eight miles on the blue trail and became disoriented and lost. The hiker had GPS on his cell phone and had a strong signal. He was instructed to turn on the GPS capability and not to move from his location. A DEC Ranger then made contact with the hiker and determined he was on the Mink Hollow trail. The Ranger told the subject which direction to hike and the Ranger met the subject about one mile in on the trail and the two hiked out and reached the trailhead at about 7:30 p.m.

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

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