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 Long Lake
Snowmobile Fatality: On February 16 at 11:18 pm, Central Dispatch received a call from an individual who had been snowmobiling with a friend who had gone off the trail and fell through the ice at Long Lake. The subject was near Steam Boat Landing on the south side of the lake. Forest Rangers Jay Scott and Jim Waters responded and requested the Ranger airboat from Northville. ECO Keith Kelly and New York State Police responded as well. At 12:20 am, Rangers reported the subject was located in the ice in the adjoining Raquette River and was deceased. With assistance from Long Lake Fire Department and EMS personnel, Forest Ranger Scott entered the icy waters and extracted the snowmobiler from the water and turned him over to the Hamilton County Medical Examiner. State Police are continuing to investigate.
Editor’s Note: Another man was killed this weekend in an accident in Lewis County. In Old Forge, law enforcement agencies had a safety crackdown. More than a dozen people have died in Northern New York so far this snowmobiling season.
Town of Santa Clara
Wildland Search: On February 12 at 9:18 am, New York State Police in Malone contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance with mapping the cell phone coordinates for a missing 61-year-old despondent female from Brushton. The phone coordinates pointed to the Debar Mountain Wild Forest and Ranger Scott Sabo and a State Trooper snowshoed in to reach the location. Other police units in the area were on the lookout for the missing person’s vehicle. At 11:18 am, Ranger Thomas Gliddi overheard State Police radio traffic that the missing person and her vehicle had been located at a DOT pull-off on State Rt. 458, approximately 11.5 miles away from the cell phone coordinates. Ranger Gliddi diverted to that location, where two Troopers were attempting to treat the woman who was showing signs of severe hypothermia. On scene, Ranger Gliddi initiated rescue breathing via bag valve mask and Ranger Sabo arrived on scene with oxygen and heating blankets. The subject was turned over to St. Regis Falls EMS until State Police Aviation arrived with North Country Life Flight and Ranger Kevin Burns on board. The subject was flown to AMC-Saranac Lake for further care, and all units were clear of the scene by 12:16 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.