New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. 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 Adirondack backcountry.
What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks.
Town of North Elba
Rescue: On June 15, Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 27-year-old male from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who had reported a possible fractured ankle near the Lake Colden Outpost. The subject reported that he and his companions were camping across the lake from the outpost. A NYSP helicopter was used to transport Forest Rangers Megan McCone and James Giglinto into Lake Colden. Upon arrival, the Rangers crossed Lake Colden by row boat and located the subject. The subject was evaluated, treated, and loaded into the rowboat and returned to the Lake Colden Outpost. He was subsequently loaded into the helicopter and flown to AMC Saranac Lake for medical treatment.
Town of Schroon
Search: On June 17 at 1:58 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Essex County 911 regarding a family of five lost on Bear Mountain in Schroon Lake. The father and his four children, all under the age of 14, became lost while descending the trail. Forest Rangers Arthur Perryman and Benjamin Baldwin responded and located the family. The subjects were assisted down to the Pyramid Lake Camp, where they were reunited with the remainder of the family.
Town of Keene
Rescue: On June 17, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Essex County 911 stating there was a 45-year-old man who was dehydrated and suffering from a knee injury. Forest Rangers Kevin Burns, James Giglinto, Robbi Mecus, and an Assistant Forest Ranger responded to the trailhead and hiked in approximately one mile, where they assessed the man’s condition. After rehydrating, the man regained his strength and was able to walk out under his own power. The Rangers assisted him down the trailhead where an ambulance was waiting. The subject was then transported to Elizabethtown Hospital where he received further medical care.
Town of Ticonderoga
Search: On June 17, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from NYSP Troop B Communications requesting assistance for a missing 10-year-old boy in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness area. The boy was on a hike with his family in a group of 10. The subject became separated from his family when the group split up on the trail. Six Forest Rangers responded and began checking the trail systems. NYSP K-9 units searched the trails with negative results and a NYSP helicopter flew over the surrounding area with negative results. Throughout the night the search parties continued to look for the missing boy but were unable to locate him. By morning the search party grew to include 23 Forest Rangers, NYSP SORT members, NYSP helicopter, and Essex County Sheriff’s Deputies. After spending the night in the wilderness alone, Forest Rangers James Waters and Jason Scott located the frightened boy in good health at approximately 8:50 am. He walked out with Rangers and was returned to his family after being evaluated by Schroon Lake EMS.
Town of Ohio
Rescue: On June 9 at 2:30 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for an overturned boat on Gull Lake. The female subject stated that her husband, a 28-year-old from Albany, was stranded on a small rock island one mile off shore. Rangers Robert Coscomb and Lt. Scott Murphy and Environmental Conservation Officer Shana Hutton responded and hiked in to Gull Lake with a canoe. They located the female subject at the Gull Lake lean-to. The subject explained that she, her husband, and their beagle were paddling at the east end of Gull Lake and began taking on water from wind and choppy waves. After the canoe began to sink, they swam to a nearby rock outcropping on the lake. The female subject then swam one mile across the lake to call for assistance. The husband was left behind due to health issues. Rangers paddled across the lake and located the husband and dog on the small rock island. The male subject was brought back across the lake and reunited with his wife at 5:10 pm. The subjects required no medical attention and the incident concluded at 6:38 pm.
Town of Thurman
Rescue: On June 10 at 2:38 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a report of an injury on Crane Mountain from Warren County 911. The injured 54-year-old female sustained an ankle injury while descending a steep section of trail and requested assistance because she was unable to put weight on her ankle. Five Forest Rangers, one Assistant Forest Ranger, and one Back Country Steward responded. With the assistance of Fire Department and EMS personnel, the subject was located approximately one mile from the trailhead in a steep rocky area. Forest Rangers and EMTs assessed the injury and requested New York State Police Aviation. She was hoisted by NYSP Aviation and brought to a nearby landing zone, where she was then transported via ambulance to a local hospital for further medical care.
Town of Thurman
Search: On June 12, New York State Police contacted Lt. John Solan requesting assistance from the Forest Rangers regarding a 69-year-old male who went missing on June 7. The man was last seen at his campground in the village of Lake George and was volunteering at the annual Americade rally. The subject, Robert “Mike” Vanderhoof, left the campground riding a red Honda Enduro motorcycle with Kentucky plates. On June 13, Rangers coordinated search efforts with the support of New York State Police (NYSP) and DEC Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs). As a result of search efforts the subject was found deceased off a lightly traveled road.
Town of Bolton
Search: On June 12 at 7:53 pm, Warren Count 911 contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance for a lost hiker. The 40-year-old man became lost while hiking the trail between Cat and Thomas mountains. The male subject was able to provide cell phone and GPS coordinates of his location. Forest Rangers Arthur Perryman and Evan Donegan responded to the trailhead and began hiking in to his location. The subject crossed paths with another hiking group and eventually linked up with the Rangers. The Rangers assisted the group down to the trailhead, and the subject was in good health.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage and Adirondack Trail Information webpage for more information about where you intend to travel. The Adirondack Almanack reports weekly Outdoor Conditions each Thursday afternoon.