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For Release: Thursday, December 19, 2013

DEC Region 5 Forest Ranger October and November 2013 Search & Rescue Report

Essex County

Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness

On Tuesday, October 1, 2013, at approximately 4:10 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker had been separated from her hiking partner. Patricia Yakaboski, 43, of St. Augustine, FL, was hiking Porter Mountain with her partner when they became separated. Ms. Yakaboski hadn't been seen in one hour. A DEC Forest Ranger and a DEC Environmental Conservation Officer responded and began checking the trailheads to Porter Mountain. Shortly after a family member called from Florida to report that Ms. Yakaboski's was walking down John's Brook Road towards Keene Valley. Ms. Yakaboski had used the phone from a private residence to call her family member and report her location. She was picked up by the Forest Ranger and provided with a ride back to the Cascade Trail where she was reunited with her hiking partner. She had left her backpack on the mountain which was retrieved the next day by a backcountry steward. Stay together when hiking in groups. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of Schroon, Hoffman Notch Wilderness

On Wednesday, October 2, 2013, at approximately 2:05 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two lost hikers. Wayne Dewey, 63, and Larry Gleason, 67, both of Schroon Lake, NY, were hiking Hoffman Mountain when they became lost on their descent. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and contacted the two men by cell phone. Mr. Dewey and Mr. Gleason advised him that they were using a GPS and going in circles. The Forest Ranger gave them a waypoint to use with their GPS to direct them toward Big Pond. The Forest Ranger then headed towards Big Pond himself. Initially they missed each other and another Forest Ranger was called to respond. Shortly thereafter voice contact was made and Mr. Dewey and Mr. Gleason were located 100 yards from the trail. They were in good condition and were escorted back to their vehicle. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of Keene, Eastern High Peaks Wilderness

On Sunday, October 6, 2013, at approximately 12:40 a.m., the DEC Interior Caretakers at Lake Colden and Johns Brook overheard radio transmissions asking for help. Deborah Cunningham, 48, of Earlville, MD, had been hiking all day with her friends when she became weak and non-alert. When the group reached Slant Rock, she was unresponsive. Her group assisted her two miles to the Adirondack Mountain Club's John's Brook Lodge. They entered the building and used the radio to seek help. The two DEC Caretakers, three DEC Forest Rangers and volunteer wilderness paramedic responded to the call for help. Upon reaching John's Brook Lodge the rescuers stabilized here condition. After a few hours, Ms. Cunningham. made a full recovery. She was driven out via ATV and declined any further medical treatment. Carry plenty of water and food. Eat and drink often and rest frequently.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, at approximately 10:15 a.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker in need of assistance. Mark Soenspeck, 28, of Washington, DC, was hiking Cascade Mountain when he was suddenly stricken. Two DEC Forest Rangers and an EMT from Lake Placid Rescue responded. They located Mr. Soenspeck a short distance from the trailhead. He was evaluated and then escorted back to his vehicle at the trailhead. He was transported by his wife to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid for further medical care. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 for backcountry emergencies.

Town of Newcomb, Dix Mountain Wilderness

On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, at approximately 7:40 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the Elk Lake Lodge stating that three of their guests were overdue from hiking. Charlotte Buehler, 71, of Pultneyville, NY, Betty Brayer, 67, of Ontario, NY and Carol May, 66, of Williamson, NY, left with a licensed guide at 8 a.m. to hike South and East Dix and had not yet returned. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and located the three women approximately half a mile down the trail. Their descent down the mountain had taken them longer than expected, but they were in good condition. They were escorted back to their vehicles and they returned to Elk Lodge. Provide your itinerary and the DEC Forest Ranger backcountry emergency contact (518-891-0235) to friends, family or others.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Friday, October 11, 2013, at approximately 7:34 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an injured hiker. Christina Twoey, 41, of Owego, NY, was hiking with a Boy Scout group between Indian Falls and Marcy Dam when she fell and injured her knee. A DEC Forest Ranger and a DEC Interior Caretaker responded, assisting Ms. Twoey to Marcy Dam. She was transported by UTV to the Adirondak Loj and sought further medical treatment on her own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 for backcountry emergencies.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Saturday, October 12, 2013, at approximately 4:30 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report from an Assistant Forest Ranger of a hiker with an injured ankle on the VanHovenberg Trail about one mile above Marcy Dam. Another Assistant Forest Ranger and an Interior Caretaker responded. They located Karen Grossman, 49, of Syracuse, NY, and assessed her injury. Due to the seriousness of the injury a DEC Forest Ranger was dispatched to Marcy Dam with a UTV. Ms. Grossman was carried out to Marcy Dam and then transported by UTV to the trailhead. Ms. Grossman decided to seek medical attention on her own at that time. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 for backcountry emergencies.

Town of Newcomb, High Peaks Wilderness

On Saturday, October 12, 2013, at approximately 8:38 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an overdue hiker. Barbara Fallon, 46, of Wynantskill, NY, was hiking McNaughton Mountain and had last been seen at 3:20 p.m. Two DEC Forest Rangers who had just cleared from other incidents responded to Adirondak Loj. Upon receiving the details of the incident, one of the Forest Rangers headed in to Wallface Pond. He encountered Ms. Fallon on the trail a short while later and escorted her out to the trailhead, where she was reunited with her hiking companion. Stay together when hiking in groups.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Saturday, October 19, 2013, at approximately 1:49 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call transferred from Essex County 911 reporting a hiker in need of assistance. JoAnn Barton, 52, of Windsor, NY, was climbing to Algonquin from Lake Colden when she was suddenly stricken. A DEC Interior Caretaker responded and met up with Ms. Barton at 2:45 p.m. Three DEC Forest Rangers also responded and immediately began plans to airlift Ms. Baron. However, due to the high winds on the summit of Algonquin, the hoist operation was cancelled. Instead, two of the Forest Rangers were flown to the Lake Colden Outpost to hike to Ms. Barton. At 4:15 p.m., Ms. Barton stated that she felt well enough to start walking slowly. The group made it to the Lake Colden Outpost and spent the night while Forest Rangers monitored Ms. Barton's condition throughout. By the following morning, Ms. Barton was recovered and rested enough to be able to walk out to Marcy Dam. From Marcy Dam, Forest Rangers transported Ms. Barton on a UTV to the trailhead parking area. She then sought further medical attention on her own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 for backcountry emergencies.

Town of Newcomb, High Peaks Wilderness

On Saturday, October 26, 2013, at approximately 5:00 p.m., a DEC Forest Ranger was contacted directly and received a report of an overdue hunter. Paul Novak, 42, of Voorheesville, NY, was last seen at 11:30 a.m., at the Santanoni Gatehouse, heading in a northwesterly direction. Two Forest Rangers responded and began searching the area west of Lake Harris campground and east of Camp Santanoni. The Forest Rangers eventually made voice contact with Mr. Novak and then met up with him. Mr. Novak had been tracking a deer that he shot, but did not have any light source and became caught in the dark. He was in good condition and Forest Rangers escorted him back to his camp. Always carry a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries.

Town of Keene, Giant Mountain Wilderness

On Wednesday, October 30, 2013, at approximately 3:08 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook
received a call from Essex County 911 reporting an injured hiker. Tyler Sheehan, 45, of Red Hook, NY, was solo hiking Hopkins Mountain when he fell, slid approximately 100 feet down an open rock face and was thrown into the air before he was able to stop. Five DEC Forest Rangers, five members of New York State Police Special Operations Response Team (SORT), members of the Keene Valley Volunteer Fire Department Back Country Rescue Team and members of the Keene Volunteer Fire Department responded. Mr. Sheehan was located at 5 p.m. with the help of coordinates obtained from his 911cell phone call. He had a number of injuries, including a significant leg injury. Mr. Sheehan's leg injury was stabilized; he was placed into a litter, carried down the mountain and transferred to a waiting ambulance from the Keene Volunteer Fire Department, which transported him to Elizabethtown Hospital for further medical treatment. All personnel were clear of the incident at 7:20 p.m. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 for backcountry emergencies.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Saturday, November 23, 2013, at approximately 2:45 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the International Emergency Response Center reporting a SPOT tracker had an SOS activation in the Eastern High Peaks. The SPOT tracker belonged to Peter Meringolo, 42, of Chappaqua, NY. The DEC dispatcher contacted his home and learned from his wife that Mr. Meringolo was hiking with their 10-year-old son. The coordinates from the tracker showed the locater was in a drainage area on the eastern aspect of Mount Marshall. A DEC Interior Caretaker and five DEC Forest Rangers responded. At 5 p.m., the Interior Caretaker located Mr. Meringolo and his son on the trail at Calamity Pond. Both were in good health. Mr. Meringolo stated he had intentionally activated the SOS when he realized they were lost while descending from the summit of Marshall. Due to snow squalls, the two hikers were taken back to the Colden Interior Outpost to spend the night. They hiked back out to their vehicle the following morning. Electronic devices can be useful, but always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them, for backup.

Franklin County

Town of Tupper Lake, Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest

On Sunday, October 13, 2013, at approximately 5:19 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of an injured hiker. Patricia Chillemi, 56, of Biddeford, ME, was hiking Coney Mountain when she slipped and turned her ankle. One DEC Forest Ranger responded and carried Ms. Chillemi out to the trailhead along with Tupper Lake EMS. At the trailhead, she was transferred to Tupper Lake Rescue, which transported her to the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 for backcountry emergencies.

Hamilton County

Town of Hope, Wilcox Lake Wild Forest

On Sunday, October 13, 2013, at approximately 1 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the Hamilton County Sheriff reporting a person with a back injury on the Hope Falls trail. Due to the lack of cell service and radio coverage in the area, additional information was difficult to obtain. Four DEC Forest Rangers and the Hope Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene. Nicholas Colasurdo, 52, of Rochester, NY, was taking pictures of Hope Falls when he slipped on the rocks and fell on his back. He was able to get himself back to the trail, but couldn't walk any further. The Forest Rangers started to transport him by UTV, but the vibration of the ride was too much for Mr. Colasurdo to tolerate. He was then carried out by Forest Rangers and members of the Hope Volunteer Fire Department. Mr. Colasurdo was transported by ambulance to Nathan Littauer Hospital in Amsterdam, NY. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 for backcountry emergencies.

Town of Long Lake, Sargent Pond Wild Forest

On Saturday, October 26, 2013, at approximately 8:25 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an overdue hunter. Arthur Bubb, 48, of Mechanicville, NY, was hunting with a group of friends, but had not been seen or heard from since noon. His hunting party had made several attempts to locate him, but with no success. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and quickly located Mr. Bubb, who was on his way back to his hunting camp. Mr. Bubb had shot a deer at approximately 2:15 p.m. and had spent time tracking, dragging and cutting up the deer. He was in good condition and Forest Rangers escorted him back to the camp. Always carry a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries.

Town of Inlet, Moose River Plains Wild Forest

On Saturday, October 26, 2013, at approximately 8:15 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two overdue hunters. Dell Hilbreth, 55, of Savannah, NY, and Tony Hilbreth, 31, of Liverpool, NY, were supposed to meet the rest of their hunting party back at their camp at 4:30 p.m., but had not yet returned. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and began searching for the men. After several hours of searching, both of the Hilbreths were located in good health. They had missed the trail that they had planned take out of the woods. When they encountered Pine Grove Creek they followed it downstream until dark and then built a fire. The Forest Rangers escorted them out of the woods and back to their camp and were clear of the incident at 2 a.m. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Warren County

Town of Hague, Lake George Wild Forest

On Sunday, October 13 at approximately 6:30 p.m., the Caretaker at DEC Rogers Rock Campground was informed by a camper of two climbers stuck on the face of Rogers Rock in the Town of Hague, Warren County. The Caretaker contacted DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook stating that the climbers had equipment malfunction and were unable to move up or down. Nine DEC Forest Rangers responded to the summit of Rogers Rock. Cedric Bien, 28, and Susannah Gue, 27, both of New York City, were stuck approximately 250 feet from the bottom of the 650-feet high Main Slab of Rogers Slide. A rope system was deployed and a Forest Ranger was lowered 450 feet down the face of the cliff to the climbers. They explained that were descending the cliff when their top rope became snagged, preventing them from moving any farther. The climbers were able to yell to a passing boater who sought assistance from the campground. The Forest Ranger attached Mr. Bien and Ms. Gue to the lines of his rope system and the three were lowered to the base of the cliff without incident. The two climbers were returned to their campsite at Rogers Rock Campground by 12:30 a.m. Prepare properly before recreating in the backcountry - pack extra clothes, water, food and headlamp. You can remain calm and comfortable if unexpected emergencies occur.

Town of Horicon, Pharoah Lake Wilderness Area

On Saturday, November 16, 2013, at approximately 12:42 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a lost hunter in the Pharoah Lake Wilderness Area. Edmund Haynes, 70, of Hudson Falls, NY, had a medical issue that required him to be found quickly. Six DEC Forest Rangers responded to the scene. At 3:15 p.m., Mr. Haynes was located by the Forest Rangers and walked to the trailhead. After being evaluated and treated by the Northern Warren County EMS, he was released to his family. Know the area you plan to recreate. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Washington County

Town of Fort Ann, Lake George Wild Forest

On Thursday, October 3, 2013, at approximately 7:20 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call transferred from Warren County 911 reporting two hikers needing assistance, one of whom was injured. Louise McNutt, 53, and Marissa Pond, 20, both of Loudonville, NY, were hiking on Buck Mountain towards Pilot Knob. Ms. Pond had injured her ankle earlier so they weren't moving fast. It was getting dark and neither of them had a flashlight or headlamp. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to Pilot Knob with an ATV. The two women were located 1.5 miles from the trailhead. The Forest Ranger guided them down the mountain a short distance to the ATV, which they used to transport the women back to the trailhead. Ms. Pond decided to seek medical attention on her own. Always carry a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries.

Town of Fort Ann, Lake George Wild Forest

On Thursday, November 7, 2013, at approximately 7:41 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Washington County 911 reporting an overdue hunter. George Miller, 68, of Granville, NY, had gone to hunt Remington Ridge through Dacy Clearing and was lost. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and began searching the area. At 10:45 p.m. they made voice contact with Mr. Miller and at 11:00 p.m. they located him. He was in good health, but extremely fatigued, so the walk back out to the trailhead took an extended amount of time. Mr. Miller did not seek any further medical attention and all were clear of the incident at 1:45 a.m. Know the area you plan to recreate. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

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