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For Release: Monday, September 26, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 9/19 - 9/25/16

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 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
High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker:
On September 20, 2016 at 2:40 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiking party near the summit of Gothics reporting a 44-year-old man from Harbourton, NJ in medical distress. Dispatch advised the hiking party to stabilize the man and wait for New York State Police Aviation to arrive with DEC Forest Rangers. New York State Police Aviation transported Forest Rangers to Johns Brook Lodge landing zone, but winds prohibited a summit hoist operation. An Assistant Forest Ranger met the hiking party at the summit and helped them begin the descent into Johns Brook. At 9:15 p.m. the hiking party and Forest Rangers reached Johns Brook Lodge. The man declined further medical treatment. The incident concluded at 11:00 p.m.

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Injured hiker:
On September 24, 2016 at 4:45 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Essex County 911 requesting assistance for a 25-year-old woman from Montreal, QC, CA with a lower leg injury approximately one mile from the Marcy Dam outpost. The woman's hiking party carried her out to the Outpost where the Marcy Dam Outpost Caretaker assessed the injury. From there, a DEC Forest Ranger responded on utility terrain vehicle and transported the woman back to the trailhead. She said she would seek medical attention on her own. The incident concluded at 7:02 p.m.

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Injured hiker:
On September 24, 2016 at 7:02 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a radio transmission from a DEC Forest Ranger reporting an injured 25-year-old man from Syracuse, NY. A DEC Forest Ranger responded on utility terrain vehicle and transported the man back to the trailhead. He said he would seek medical attention on his own. The incident concluded at 7:42 p.m.

Hamilton County

Town of Indian Lake
Blue Mountain Wild Forest
Overdue fisherman:
On September 19, 2016 at 9:15 a.m., a concerned party contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch regarding a 50-year-old man from Bolton Landing, NY who did not return from a fishing trip in the Adirondacks the night before as expected. DEC Dispatch advised all field staff in the Adirondacks to be on lookout for the missing person's vehicle. At 11:27 a.m., Warren County 911 reported a ping on the man's cell phone hit the Blue Mountain Lake cell tower, narrowing the search area. At 12:10 p.m., crews located the vehicle on O'Neil Flowage Road in the Blue Mountain Wild Forest. After searching the adjacent pond without any results, additional DEC Forest Rangers and New York State Police Aviation responded to assist. At 2:30 p.m., a DEC Backcountry Steward located the man on Gooley Club Road in the town of Newcomb, approximately 12 miles from his vehicle, in good health.

Town of Indian Lake
Siamese Ponds Wilderness
Injured caver:
On September 21, 2016 at 12:23 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a man reporting that his caving partner sustained a head injury while caving in Eagle Cave on Chimney Mountain. Eight DEC Forest Rangers responded to Chimney Mountain to retrieve the injured 24-year-old man from Waterville, NY. New York State Police Aviation and two Advanced Life Support (ALS) medics also responded from Lake Clear to a staged location in Indian Lake. The team rescued the man from the cave using technical rope system operations. Once removed from the cave, Forest Rangers and ALS medics evaluated the man and carried him out via litter to the NYSP Aviation pick up point. From there, the helicopter flew him to the University of Vermont Medical Hospital in Burlington, VT. The incident concluded at 8:02 p.m.

Town of Indian Lake
Blue Mountain Wild Forest
Lost hikers:
On September 25, 2016 at 5:19 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Hamilton County 911 reporting a family of five from the Bronx, lost on the Blue Mountain Lake Snowmobile Trail off the Rock Lake Trail. DEC Forest Rangers, a member of the Hamilton County Sherriff's Office and New York State Police responded. They located the family's vehicle at the Rock Lake Trailhead. Forest Rangers then utilized sirens to determine their location in the woods. Forest Rangers located the family at 8:57 p.m. and assisted them out to their vehicle. The incident concluded at 9:07 p.m.

Jefferson County

Town of Brownville
Perch River Wildlife Management Area
Lost hunter:
On September 25, 2016 at 4:32 p.m., DEC Central Dispatch transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a lost 36-year-old hunter from Watertown, NY. The man reported he was off Route 12 (Bradley Road) in Watertown. He was on his way out of the woods when he became turned around and did not have a map, compass or flashlight. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and used her siren to attempt to help the hunter out of the woods, but that did not work. The Forest Ranger then went into the woods, located the man at 5:56 p.m. and escorted him out. The incident concluded at 6:19 p.m.

Washington County

Town of Dresden
Lake George Wild Forest
Lost hiker:
On September 25, 2016 at 4:36 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 28-year-old man from Sherburne, NY lost on Black Mountain. A DEC Forest Ranger responded, located the man and escorted him out of the woods. He was provided with a courtesy ride via Ranger vehicle to the Hog Town Parking lot. The incident concluded at 6:25 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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