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For Release: Monday, December 8, 2014

Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 12/1-12/7/14

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.

"DEC Forest Rangers' knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are often critical to the success of their missions," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "Search and rescue missions often require Rangers to function in remote wilderness areas from rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and through vast forest areas from spruce-fir thicket to open hardwoods."

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:

Essex County
Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, Town of North Elba
Lost Hiker: On December 6, 2014 at 4:23 p.m., a supervisor at the 1st Air Force contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch and reported the activation of a personal locator beacon with coordinates near the summit of Algonquin at 3:55 p.m. A 21-year-old male from Vestal, NY left the Adirondak Loj at 11:00 a.m. to hike Algonquin. While at the summit, he slid into deep snow and became disoriented. He lost the trail in poor visibility and activated his locator beacon. He called 911 several times, but due to limited cell phone coverage, his coordinates were unavailable and his calls were unsuccessfully transferred to DEC Dispatch. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to the coordinates provided by the locator beacon. Rangers located the hiker at 8:15 p.m. and escorted him back to the Loj at 10:15 p.m. 1st Air Force and Essex County 911 assisted in the search.

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

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