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For Release: Tuesday, September 6, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 8/28 - 9/5/16

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:

Clinton County

Town of Saranac
Private Land
Missing individual:
On August 28, 2016 at 10:20 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from the New York State Police for a missing 66-year-old man from Saranac, NY. The man was last seen at 5:30 a.m. Family members contacted State Police at 9:00 p.m. They were concerned he may have been injured or trampled by a bull while looking for an animal that had apparently been harassing his cows. DEC Forest Rangers, including one with State Police Aviation, conducted search efforts by ground and air to assist State Police. State Police located the man walking to his home at 5:50 p.m. on August 29. He did not require medical assistance.

Essex County

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker:
On August 29, 2016 at 7:10 p.m., a boy arrived at Adirondak Loj requesting assistance for his 50-year-old mother from Albany, NY in medical distress. She was unable to continue their decent from Haystack Mountain. A DEC Forest Ranger who was present at the Loj responded and located the woman at Bushnell Falls at 8:20 p.m. The Forest Ranger stabilized the woman and assisted her back to the Loj where she declined further medical treatment. The incident concluded at 9:00 p.m.

Town of Chesterfield
Taylor Pond Wild Forest
Stranded climbers:
On August 29, 2016 at 9:00 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from Clinton County 911 for a 21-year-old man from Big Flats, NY and an 18-year-old man from Honeoye Falls, NY who became stranded while rock climbing on Poke-O-Moonshine. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded, along with the Champlain Valley Search & Rescue technical rescue team and the Keeseville Fire Department. Forest Rangers climbed three pitches to get above the climbers and rappelled down to them. Two tandem rappels were performed. The climbers were lowered to safety at 12:50 a.m. They had become stranded when they attempted to descend from the Catharsis climbing route with only one rope when two ropes were needed. Responders and climbers returned to the trailhead at 1:20 a.m.

Town of Chesterfield
Taylor Pond Wild Forest
Injured climber:
On September 3, 2016 at 3:25 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from Essex County 911 reporting a 31-year-old man from Abington, PA injured at Poke-O-Moonshine. He was conscious but disoriented. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded along with EMS from Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital. Forest Rangers arrived at Poke-O-Moonshine at 3:53 p.m. and assisted the man to an awaiting ambulance. The ambulance transported him to an area hospital for further medical treatment. According to his climbing partner, the man had slipped while making a move approximately 25 feet from the ground. The climber was in a controlled fall until the anchors released, resulting in a free fall for the final 10-15 feet. The incident concluded at 4:30 p.m.

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker:
On September 4, 2016 at 5:10 p.m., DEC Central Dispatch received a request for assistance from the Lake Placid Fire Department for a 51-year-old woman from Bartlett, NH in medical distress approximately a quarter mile from the Adirondak Loj. A DEC Forest Ranger responded along with Lake Placid EMS. The woman declined any assistance and refused medical attention. The incident concluded at 6:00 p.m.

Town of Keene
Dix Mountain Wilderness
Distressed hiker:
On September 5, 2016 at 9:39 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a direct call from a hiker reporting that his companion, a 37-year-old man from Oneida, NY in medical distress on the Yellow Trail to Round Mountain. DEC Forest Rangers responded and reached the man at 11:34 p.m. Forest Rangers stabilized him and assisted him to the trailhead to an awaiting Keene Valley Ambulance. He was taken to an area hospital for further medical treatment. The incident concluded at 12:15 a.m.

Hamilton County

Town of Lake Pleasant
Silver Lake Wilderness
Overdue hikers:
On September 3, 2016 at 7:55 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 46-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman from Eden, NC overdue from returning for a walk they began at 2:00 p.m. DEC Forest Rangers responded and conducted Type 1 searches of the area with the assistance of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office with negative results. Search efforts with additional resources began again at 7:30 a.m. the next morning. The couple was located at 10:00 a.m. They were assisted out to an awaiting Hamilton County EMS ambulance where they were evaluated and released. The incident concluded at 10:40 a.m.

Warren County

Town of Hague
Lake George Wild Forest
Unprepared hikers:
On September 5, 2016 at 8:02 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from Warren County 911 from a 28-year-old man from Sherburne, NY and a 31-year-old woman from Cobleskill, NY on Tongue Mountain. The pair were on-trail and uninjured but had run out of daylight and did not have flashlights or headlamps. A DEC Forest Ranger conducted a brief phone interview and determined they were close to the Tongue Mountain shoreline trail. They were directed to the shoreline of Lake George where they were retrieved by boat at 8:41 p.m. They were taken to the DEC Green Island maintenance facility and provided with a courtesy ride back to their vehicle by Ranger Patrol. The incident concluded at 9:24 p.m.

Ulster County

Town of Shandaken
Slide Mountain Wilderness
Dehydrated Hiker:
On September 5, 2016 at 11:25 a.m., DEC Rangers received a call from Ulster County 911 asking for help with the rescue of a 24 year-old man from Bronx, NY. The man was hiking the Giant's Ledge Panther Kill trail and became ill. Three DEC Rangers hiked to where the man was, while a fourth Ranger remained at the command post for communications. The Rangers determined that the hiker was dehydrated. He was given water and food and lead down the trail to a place where the Claryville Fire Dept. had a Utility Task Vehicle waiting to take him out of the woods. At approximately 2:40 p.m. he was evaluated by EMS personnel from the Town of Shandaken and released.

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

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