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
Wilderness Search: At 10:03 pm on July 30, a call came in to Ray Brook Dispatch through Essex County 911 reporting an overdue group of hikers from Rochester attempting to climb Gothics Mountain. The group consisted of three males — 46, 49, and 17 years of age — and one 13-year-old female hiker. The group reported back to their family at 3:30 pm, that they had reached the summit by sending a text and photo. Two hours after their estimated time of arrival, the family became worried about the group’s safety and requested Forest Ranger assistance. Under the authority of Lt. Christopher Kostoss, Forest Ranger Peter Evans was dispatched to the search. At 11:25 pm, the group’s vehicle was located at the AMR trailhead and the Ranger confirmed the hikers were climbing Gothics via the Beaver Meadow Falls Trail. Under the assistance of Bill O’Conner, the AMR Gate Keeper, Ranger Evans was given access to do a vehicle patrol search of the Lake Road where at 12:22 am, he located the party, exhausted from an extended day on the trails but otherwise in good health. The group was moving slower than expected due to one hiker’s lower leg pain.
Town of Indian Lake
Wilderness Recovery: At 4:31 pm on Aug. 3, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the Hamilton County Sheriff reporting an accident on Indian Lake near Moose Island. Under the authority of Lt. Kostoss, Forest Ranger Bruce Lomnitzer responded to the scene. The call came into emergency services after a nearby boating party shouted to a local resident on shore to call 911. A boating party of three men from McKean, Penn., were out on Indian Lake when the operator struck an unmarked rock, ejecting a 60-year-old man from the boat. A multi-agency search effort was initiated by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, New York State Police, Forest Rangers, and the Hamilton County Dive Team. At approximately 7:30 pm, the man was located by the dive team and pronounced dead at the scene by the Hamilton County Coroner. Hamilton County Sheriffs are investigating the incident. By 8:20 pm, all units were cleared from the scene.
Town of Indian Lake
Wilderness Rescue: At 9:02 am on Aug. 5, Hamilton County contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 911 call from a 51-year-old Auburn man near Tirrell Pond experiencing possible cardiac symptoms. The man had departed the O’Neill lean-to before his companions to get a head start when he began to experience shortness of breath less than a mile away. Under the direction of Ranger Lt. Brian Dubay, three Forest Rangers, a Hamilton County Sheriff’s Deputy, and the Indian Lake Fire Department responded. Ranger Jason Scott was first on scene at 9:48 am, and with Ranger Jenifer Temple, performed an initial patient assessment while waiting for Indian Lake EMS to arrive. At 10:40 am, the man was evaluated by Indian Lake EMS and then transported to his vehicle, where he declined further medical care.
St. Lawrence County
Town of Clifton
Wilderness Rescue: At 11:37 am on Aug. 1, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting an injured female hiker on Grass Pond Mountain near Lows Lake. The 45-year-old woman from Dover, Penn., and her companions were hiking the remote peak in the Five Ponds Wilderness Area when she sustained a shoulder injury. Under the authority of Lt. Jay Terry, Rangers Nathan Shea, Peter Morehouse, Will Benzel, and Robert Zurek were dispatched to aid the hiker back out of the woods. The hiking party was transported back to their vehicle at Lows lower dam, where they decided to seek further medical attention on their own.
Town of Fort Ann
Wilderness Rescue: At 2:43 pm on Aug. 5, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a woman whose friend on Sleeping Beauty Mountain was injured and unable to continue her hike. Per Lt. Dubay, Rangers Anthony Goetke and Evan Donegan responded with the West Fort Ann Fire Department, West Fort Ann EMS, and the Bay Ridge Fire Department for a rescue carryout. Ranger Goetke was first to reach the 25-year-old Malta woman at 4:13 pm, just below the summit of Sleeping Beauty. He confirmed a lower leg injury. The hiker had slipped on a muddy section of trail and heard a snap in her ankle. She was packaged up and by 6:54 pm, was at the trailhead and transported to the Glens Falls Hospital for treatment.
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.