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 Keene
Rescue: On August 9 at 10:56 am, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a direct call from a woman hiking with her family on Cascade Mountain. During the descent from the summit, the woman’s father fell and injured his knee. Dispatch directed the caller to contact 911 for coordinates. Five Forest Rangers and an assistant Forest Ranger responded to the trailhead and began to hiking in to the subject. Rangers located the man and assessed his injury. After re-splinting the injury, the subject was mobile but moving slowly. The Rangers assisted him to the trailhead, where he was taken by his family to a local hospital for further medical attention.
Town of Keene
Rescue: On August 9 at 4:09 pm, Essex County 911 called DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 31-year-old female with a possible broken ankle after a fall on a steep section of trail. Coordinates obtained from 911 placed the subject 1.5 miles from the trailhead on Cascade Mountain. Forest Rangers responded to the scene and stabilized the injured ankle. The subject attempted to walk out to the trailhead. However, after a short distance the hiker could not continue. New York State Police Aviation was requested to airlift the injured individual and she was transferred to the Adirondack Medical Center-Saranac Lake for further care.
Town of North Elba
Rescue: On August 9 at 4:18 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Essex County 911 regarding a severely ill 53-year-old woman. The subject was at the Moose Pond Lean-to on the Northville-Placid Trail in the High Peaks Wilderness. The woman’s daughter had hiked to Wanika Falls to make the emergency call. The woman was airlifted to the Adirondack Medical Center-Lake Placid for further medical care.
Town of Westport
Search: August 10 at 1:10 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Essex County 911 requesting assistance for a woman and a 9-year-old child lost on Coon Mountain. Essex County provided cell phone coordinates. One Forest Ranger responded and located the subjects in good health. The subjects were assisted to the trailhead where their vehicle was parked. The incident concluded at 3:28 p.m.
Town of Keene
Rescue: On August 12 at 1:52 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a report of a subject involved in a swimming accident at a swimming hole on the Bouquet River near the High Bridge off Route 73 near Chapel Pond. The subject was conscious but sustained lacerations and suffered neck pain. Forest Rangers were dispatched to the Bouquet River and joined by first responders from Keene and Keene Valley fire departments. The subject received first aid and was transported by ambulance to Elizabethtown Hospital for treatment.
Town of Duane
Search: Just before midnight on August 9, an 80-year-old male was reported overdue from hiking Debar Mountain. The man was reported to be in good health and an experienced hiker. His vehicle was found at the parking area of Debar Mountain. The subject had a ledger from a past hike of the same mountain, advising that he rode a bike part way up the trail. Two Rangers hiked the trail and found a bike on the side of the trail. The Rangers continued to hike reached the summit without finding the subject. On August 10 at 4:35 am, Rangers requested additional resources and a command post was established at Meacham Lake Campground. As Rangers and other search personal conducted search efforts around Debar Mountain, the subject was located at 1:13 pm by a New York State Police Captain. The hiker had found his way to the road and was walking on Route 30 in the Cold Brook Road area. The man was dehydrated and had lacerations to both shins. The subject was treated by EMS and transported to Alicia Hyde Hospital.
Town of Long Lake
Rescue: On August 7 at 5:45 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the director of a young adult outdoor group. She stated that one of the participants was having issues due to a preexisting heart condition and needed to be evacuated from the north end of Long Lake to receive medical attention. The camp was located deep in the wilderness beyond Deep Hole and the subject was being towed via kayak to meet assistance at the outlet of Long Lake. Forest Ranger James Waters and Long Lake Rescue Squad EMT Chuck Taylor responded. EMT Taylor monitored the subject during the boat ride back to the Long Lake Boat Launch. At 7:15 pm, the subject was transferred to an ambulance and transported to the Adirondack Medical Center-Saranac Lake.
St. Lawrence County
Town of Fine
Rescue/Recovery: On August 11 at 6:10 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received notification from an assistant Forest Ranger that a 51-year-old male camping at a primitive site on Cranberry Lake collapsed while chopping wood and hit his head during the resulting fall. Fellow campers traveled more than a mile to obtain cell phone service to call for help. Cranberry Lake Rescue responded and tried to revive the subject. Family members were administering CPR when rescuers arrived. Rescue efforts continued for about an hour but the subject remained unresponsive. By 7:10 pm, first responders ceased resuscitation efforts and Rangers secured the scene until the arrival of the St. Lawrence County Coroner and New York State Police investigators. The subject was officially pronounced deceased and transported by Cranberry Lake Fire and Rescue to the dock at 9 p.
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.