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For Release: Monday, August 1, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 7/25-7/31/16

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 North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Lost hiker:
On July 28, 2016 at 2:37 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 23-year-old man from Rochester, NY reporting he was lost on a trial to a pond between Whiteface Mountain and Lake Placid. He did not know a more specific location and phone coordinates obtained by 911 proved unreliable. The man provided a description of his vehicle and a DEC Forest Ranger located it at the Connery Pond Trailhead. As the Forest Ranger hiked in he spotted the man on the trail and escorted him back to his vehicle. The incident concluded at 4:28 p.m.

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Injured hiker:
On July 29, 2016 at 11:07 p.m., DEC Central Dispatch transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance for an injured 11-year-old girl from Dexter, NY. She was three miles up the Algonquin trail from Adirondak Loj with a non-weight bearing lower-leg injury. DEC Forest Rangers, Assistant Forest Rangers and the Marcy Dam Caretaker responded to Adirondak Loj. They conducted a carry out using backpack carriers and brought the girl out to an All-Terrain Vehicle, which transported her to the Adirondak Loj. Rangers turned the girl over to her summer camp counselors at that time. The incident concluded at 2:30 p.m.

Town of Keene
Adirondack Mountain Reserve - Ausable Club
Distressed hiker:
On July 29, 2016 a 5:44 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 48-year-old woman from Princeton, NJ who slid 80 feet down an embankment into a gorge at the Canyon Foot Bridge. She was in fair condition but was unable to climb back up. DEC Forest Rangers responded and conducted a technical rope rescue. They extracted both the woman and her son from the gorge and escorted them out to the Guard Shack down Lake Rd. The woman said she would seek medical attention on her own. The incident concluded at 11:30 p.m.

Town of Elizabethtown
Giant Mountain Wilderness
Injured hiker:
On July 30, 2016, at 9:20 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting an injured 38-year-old woman from Broadalbin, NY on Giant Mountain. The injured woman was part of a party of seven that were hiking from Roaring Brook Falls to New Russia. Her injury had grown progressively worse until it became non-weight bearing and her party could no longer assist her. Based on the group's location, their level of preparedness and nightfall, Forest Rangers determined it would be best to respond at first light. Rangers and an Assistant Forest Ranger responded to the Giant Mountain trailhead while additional Rangers responded with New York State Police Aviation. Responders reached the woman at 8:45 a.m. and stabilized the injury. After establishing a location, they hoisted her into the helicopter which then flew her to Marcy Field. From there, Keen Valley Rescue transported her to an area hospital. The incident concluded at 10:53 a.m. on July 31.

Town of Elizabethtown
Private Land
Lost hiker:
On July 31, 2016 at 6:32 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a 20-year-old man from Queensbury, NY lost off Brainard Forge Road in Elizabethtown after attempting to bushwhack through to Steel Woods Rd. One DEC Forest Ranger responded, located the man and assisted him out of the woods. The incident concluded at 7:57 p.m.

Hamilton County
Town of Indian Lake
Hudson Gorge Wilderness
Injured rafter:
On July 30, 2016 at 10:45 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from a DEC Forest Ranger via radio for a 60-year-old woman from Old Say Brook, CT. The woman sustained a lower-leg injury while rafting down the Indian River. An additional Forest Ranger responded to Chain Lakes Road along with the fire department and rescue squad for Indian Lake. Rangers reached the woman at 11:02 a.m. and administered first aid. They packaged her up and carried her out to a waiting Indian Lake ambulance which transported her to an area hospital for medical treatment. The incident concluded at 11:33 a.m.

Herkimer County
Town of Webb
Fulton Chain Wild Forest
Injured hiker:
On July 29, 2016 at 12:51 p.m., Herkimer County 911 requested assistance from DEC Ray Brook Dispatch for a 47-year-old woman from Syracuse, NY with a lower-leg injury near the summit of Bald Mountain. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the area. The woman managed to walk with assistance back to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 2:20 p.m. The Old Forge fire department, Webb police department, Old Forge rescue squad and Old Forge ambulance squad assisted in the rescue.

Lewis County
Town of Greig
Independence River Wild Forest
Lost individual:
On July 27, 2016 at 4:25 p.m., Lewis County 911 contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a lost 64-year-old woman from Carthage, NY near Sand Pond. The woman became separated from the rest of her party when she called 911. One DEC Forest Ranger and one DEC Environmental Conservation Officer responded. They located the woman at 5:30 p.m. in good health at the GPS coordinates provided by her 911 call. The incident concluded at 6:05 p.m.

Warren County
Town of Bolton
Lake George Wild Forest
Missing hiker:
On July 26, 2016 at 5:45 p.m., Warren County 911 transferred a caller to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a missing 9-year-old boy from Upper Marlboro, MD. The boy became separated from his hiking party on Thomas Mountain. The reporting party stated he was last seen heading toward the trailhead while descending from the summit 30 minutes before calling 911. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the trailhead. They located the missing boy in good health within a few hundred yards of the trailhead and escorted him up the trail to be reunited with his family at 6:25 p.m.

Washington County
Town of Fort Ann
Lake George Wild Forest
Injured hiker:
On July 30, 2016 at 2:58 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from Washington County 911 requesting assistance for a 50-year-old woman with a lower-leg injury on Buck Mountain. DEC Forest Rangers responded and stabilized the injury. With walking assistance, a carry out and an All-Terrain Vehicle the injured woman was brought back to the trailhead where North Queensbury EMS assessed her. The incident concluded at 6:58 p.m. The North Queensbury and Pilot Knob fire departments assisted in the rescue.

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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