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 Benson
Wildland Search: At 5:12 pm on July 26, a call came into Ray Brook Dispatch reporting an overdue hiker from the Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center in Benson. A 71-year-old male hiker went out to enjoy the lake and nearby creeks. When he did not return as planned, the property owner contacted Forest Rangers asking for assistance. Forest Rangers were dispatched to the Vacation Center to begin search efforts for the hiker. After extensive searching of the trail system on the property and the Silver Lake Wilderness, they located the hiker in good health at 8:50 pm. At 10:18 pm he was returned to the Vacation Center and evaluated by local EMS before being released back to his cabin.
Town of Long Lake
Recovery: At 2:59 pm on July 28, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was notified by Hamilton County of a possible drowning at Buttermilk Falls. Forest Rangers responded to the scene and confirmed that a 43-year-old male had drowned while swimming in the Raquette River at a popular swim hole in the Sargent Ponds Wild Forest. A DEC Environmental Conservation Investigator and New York State Police Investigators were called to the scene and are investigating the incident. All DEC personnel were clear of the scene at 7:05 pm.
Town of Hague
Wildland Search: At 12:52 pm on July 28, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for Forest Ranger assistance for a couple with their three children, all under 8 years of age, from West Orange, N.J., who became disoriented on the Rogers Rock Trail. The family had been staying at the Rogers Rock Campground and had attempted to hike to the overlook atop Rogers Rock. They became disoriented on the trail system and contacted 911 for assistance. Forest Rangers responded, hiked to the 911 cell phone coordinates and located the mother and three children. The father had attempted to hike out prior to Ranger arrival and get help. Rangers escorted the hikers back to the campground with everyone reunited by 4:24 pm.
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.
Thank you for keeping us abreast of current happenings.While hiking preparation is important, on recent hikes I have noticed that trail markers are sometimes missing or farther apart than is optimal if an individual is not accustomed to being in the woods. I am relatively comfortable in the outdoors and even lived off-grid for 8-years at one point in time, but someone who is not from upstate NY could easily follow a deer trail or a path someone has used to a latrine and become disoriented. If we are going to encourage tourism the state needs to invest funds in preventative safety also.