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 Rescue: On May 27 at 9:50 am, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a radio transmission from an Assistant Forest Ranger who encountered a hiker with an ankle injury near Lake Colden. The subject, a 31-year-old male from Howard Beach, could bear weight on the ankle but needed assistance getting out. The Assistant Ranger splinted the ankle to stabilize the injury and assisted with walking the hiker out. A UTV was staged at Marcy Dam in case the hiker’s mobility declined. By 10:30 am, the subject had made it to the Lake Colden Outpost. He continued down the trail and was handed off to two additional Assistant Rangers who escorted him to Marcy Dam. After reaching Marcy Dam at 3:45 pm, Ranger James Giglinto gave the hiker a ride out back to the trailhead. The subject advised he would seek medical attention on his own and the incident concluded at 5:28 pm.
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On May 29 at 8:25 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request to assist with an overdue hiker from the Adirondak Loj. The hiker, a 21-year-old female from Wellesley Island, had left the Loj at 9:30 am to hike Street and Nye’s “trailless” peaks. The hiker had contacted her mother by cell phone at 7 pm, stating she was lost but had camping gear and a headlamp. Dispatch attempted to contact the hiker via cell and text with negative results. Two Forest Rangers responded to the Loj property to search on the main herd paths, and with no success by 1:15 am, the Rangers advised they were returning to the Loj to prepare for the next day’s search. The following day, six Forest Rangers searched the herd paths around Street and Nye mountains. The hiker spent the night on a herd path approximately 30 minutes from the Loj and when she woke up in morning, she continued walking on the path in good condition with another hiker who escorted her to the Indian Pass Trail and then on to the Loj. Rangers conducted a brief interview with the hiker and the incident concluded at 9:40 am.
Town of Harrietstown
Wilderness Rescue: On May 30 at 8:13 pm, Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from a lost hiker on Ampersand Mountain. The 25-year-old hiker from Fredonia stated that he was trying to leave the summit but could not locate the trail. The initial 911 coordinates plotted by dispatch were just off the summit. The second 911 coordinates showed the subject had gone north and was unable to navigate once he reached the tree line. Forest Ranger Scott Sabo responded to the Ampersand trailhead, hiked to the coordinates near the summit, and located the hiker. The hiker was given water and escorted back to the trailhead by 1:15 am.
Town of Santa Clara
Wildland Search: On May 31 at 3:03 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 59-year-old female and a 69-year-old male from Williston, VT. The couple had hiked St. Regis Mountain, reached the summit, and came down the wrong side. Franklin County provided coordinates for the hikers based on their 911 call. Three Forest Rangers responded. Ranger Scott Sabo attempted to relay instructions to follow a compass bearing to get back to the trail. A second call to 911 determined the hikers were headed in the wrong direction, so Rangers advised the hikers to stay in one place. Rangers searched the drainage areas based on the coordinates with negative results as the hikers continued to move despite directions to stay put. At 6:15 pm, the pair was located in good condition and escorted back to the trailhead by 6:50 pm.
Town of Dresden
Water search: On May 31 at approximately 8 pm, a rowboat with four males capsized while the group was fishing on South Bay of Lake Champlain. Three of the occupants swam to shore, while the fourth became entangled in fishing line, causing him to drown. The three men who reached the shoreline walked and swam portions of the shore for two hours to get help. Resources arrived on scene and began searching for the missing boater. Forest Ranger Donegan arrived and ordered more Rangers and equipment to the scene. On June 1 at approximately 5:15 am, the missing man was located deceased by Forest Rangers Evan Donegan and Logan Quinn. The New York State Police Dive Team was requested for a recovery, and with the assistance of a Forest Ranger airboat, they recovered the body and turned it over to the Washington County Coroner. The boat was recovered and returned to family members.
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.