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 Ticonderoga
Rescue: On May 5 at 1:01 am, DEC Dispatch received a request for assistance from the New York State Police for a 60-year-old female from Tupper Lake trapped under a large tree at Rock Pond near Putnam Pond Campground. With high winds, downed trees, and widespread power outages in the area, three Forest Rangers responded but were unable to drive to the location. The Rangers utilized a boat and had to cut through several felled trees to make it to the subject by 2:30 am. With continued high winds and heavy rain, Forest Rangers and local Fire Department personnel worked together to remove a large tree that had pinned the subject. She was packaged in a stokes litter, carried out to a boat, and brought across the pond to the Putnam Pond Campground Boat Launch, where she was turned over to Ticonderoga EMS. The subject was then flown by helicopter to a hospital in Vermont for treatment. UPDATE: Mike Lynch at Adirondack Explorer is reporting that Lynn Malerba of Adirondack Connections Guide Service in Tupper Lake, a former physical education teacher and coach, was the victim in this incident and has passed away. In 2010 Northern Woodlands magazine profiled Malerba.
Town of Lake Pleasant
Search: On April 30, Forest Rangers followed up on a report from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department that a car had been parked at the Mason Lake Parking area since April 21. After contacting the family of the vehicle’s owner, the Rangers determined that the subject, a 59-year-old male from Lisle, was planning a two-week hiking trip without a definitive end date. Forest Rangers were concerned about the subject due to recent weather in the area and other extenuating circumstances. Four Rangers began checking trailheads and registries with negative results. Search efforts continued for the next four days utilizing ATVs, Hamilton County Sherriff’s Office UTVs, as well as a New York State Police helicopter. On May 4 at approximately 9:27 am, the subject was located in good health in the West Canada Lakes Wilderness.
Town of Long Lake
Search: On May 2 at 5:14 pm, DEC received a call from a 56-year-old woman from Sacketts Harbor who became lost after attempting to descend Owl’s Head Mountain in Long Lake. Two Forest Rangers responded. One Ranger spoke directly to the subject and advised her to begin hiking back up the mountain. The subject made her way up onto the trail. Rangers located the subject in good health and she was assisted down the mountain back to the trailhead.
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.