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For Release: Monday, September 19, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 9/12 - 9/18/16

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
Distressed hiker:
On September 12, 2016 at 7:49 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the Adirondak Loj requesting assistance for a 57-year-old man from Leeburg, FL in medical distress at the Up Hill Lean-to. The Marcy Dam Caretaker responded and assisted the man to the Marcy Dam Outpost. A DEC Forest Ranger responded to Marcy Dam by utility terrain vehicle and provided the man with a ride back to his vehicle. He said he would seek medical attention on his own. The incident concluded at 2:04 p.m.

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker:
On September 17, 2016 at 1:50 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from an Assistant Forest Ranger (AFR) on interior patrol for a 36-year-old man from Whitehall, NY in medical distress at Lake Colden Dam. The AFR stabilized the man and he was able to start to hike out via the Upperworks trail. A DEC Forest Ranger met them on the trail and assisted the man out to his vehicle. He said he would seek medical attention on his own. The incident concluded at 5:11 p.m.

Hamilton County

Town of Indian Lake
Moose River Plains Wild Forest
Lost campers:
On September 17, 2016 at 5:49 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from Hamilton County 911 for a 19-year-old man and 20-year-old man, both from Rochester, NY lost off Limekiln Lake Road. Hamilton County 911 established cellphone contact with one of the men but due to low battery power the call was lost. During the call the man stated they had two friends waiting for them at the car off the side of the road. A DEC Forest Ranger responded to Limekiln Lake Road and patrolled the area but could not locate the car. An additional Forest Ranger responded to help patrol the campsites in the area looking for the vehicle. No cell phone coordinates were available from the initial 911 call and efforts to ping the cell phones were unsuccessful. Two Forest Rangers searched all campsites and trailheads in the Moose River Recreation Area overnight, basing the initial search on the area the men stated they were in. A Herkimer County Sheriff's Deputy assisted by checking trailheads in Herkimer County. After concluding they were not there, the search area expanded to check all trailheads between Inlet and Raquette Lake. At 1:34 a.m., a Forest Ranger located their vehicle on Sagamore Road in Raquette Lake, approximately 13 miles from the original reported location. Forest Rangers searched the area overnight for several hours and requested six additional Rangers to join the search at 7:00 a.m. They located the pair at 7:20 a.m. using the truck siren as an attractant. They were both in good health. Rangers escorted both men back to their vehicle and released them.

St. Lawrence County

Town of Clifton
Five Ponds Wilderness
Distressed hiker:
On September 12, 2016 at 9:30 a.m., DEC Ray Brook were notified of a Personal Locator Beacon activated near Chair Rock Flow on Cranberry Lake. Cranberry Lake fire and rescue squad and DEC Forest Rangers responded. They located a 49-year-old woman from Long Lake, NY in medical distress. She was evacuated out by boat to an awaiting Cranberry Lake rescue squad ambulance and taken to an area hospital for additional medical treatment. The incident concluded at 12:30 p.m.

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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