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 Santa Clara
Wilderness Rescue: On June 24 at 2:42 pm, Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from two hikers in their late 60s on Saint Regis Mountain. The callers reported that they lost the trail on their way off the mountain and were unable to relocate it. Coordinates obtained from their cell phone placed the pair at 2,500 feet in elevation, just south of the trail in a drainage on the west side of the peak. The 64-year-old male and 68-year-old female from North Bangor were asked to remain in place. Forest Rangers Scott Sabo, Megan McCone, and Thomas Gliddi, as well as Assistant Forest Ranger Gregory Bowler, responded to begin search efforts. After yelling for help, the hikers managed to get voice contact with other hikers on the mountain and directed the lost pair to the trail. Upon arriving, the couple started to hike down and met Forest Ranger Sabo. The lost hikers had minimal gear and did not have a compass or enough water for the hike. Forest Ranger Sabo gave the hikers his water and walked them back out, arriving at the trailhead at 5:43 pm.
Town of Harrietstown
Wilderness Rescue: On June 27 at 6:35 pm, Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting that a 36-year-old male from Saranac Lake became disoriented while descending Ampersand Mountain. Coordinates placed the subject on the north side of the mountain on an old herd path. Forest Ranger Kevin Burns made phone contact with the hiker and advised him to return to the summit and call Franklin County 911. Upon his return to the summit, the hiker called Franklin County 911, and coordinates placed him near the trail. Forest Ranger Burns gave the hiker directions to find the trail and the subject located it at 7:14 pm. Ranger Burns then instructed the hiker to start descending the mountain while he continued in on foot. Locating the hiker on the trail at 8 pm, Burns determined the hiker was suffering from leg cramps due to dehydration. The Forest Ranger provided the hiker with water and escorted him back to the trailhead by 8:30 pm.
Town of Indian Lake
Wilderness Rescue: On June 28 at 1:15 pm, Hamilton County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 69-year-old female hiker from Andover, Mass., on Blue Mountain with a sustained ankle injury. The hiking party of two was being assisted by the Blue Mountain Summit Steward roughly one quarter of a mile off the summit. While descending the peak, the female hiker made a wrong step and sustained a non-weight bearing injury. Rangers Lomnitzer, Kallen, Waters, and Kabrehl responded with the Blue Mountain VFD to bring the woman off the mountain. Rangers and volunteers accessed the summit using the tower maintenance road and hiked down to the two hikers. The woman’s injury was stabilized, she was carried to a waiting Ranger vehicle, and quickly brought out to a local ambulance for further medical treatment by 4:15 pm.
Town of Webb
Overdue Fisherman: On June 26 at 10:47 p.m., Herkimer County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a missing 75-year-old male who had been fishing on Stillwater Reservoir. When the fisherman from Webb didn’t come home for dinner, his wife became concerned and reached out to 911. Family members, prior to calling, tried to locate the angler with no luck. The subject was last known to have put his boat in by the dam near their camp and was fishing alone. Forest Rangers Matthew Savarie and Luke Evans responded around midnight and search efforts began with the aid of Town of Webb Police Department staff. At 2:45 am, Forest Rangers reported that the fisherman was located in good health near Devil’s Hole. His boat had run out of gas. The incident concluded at 4:02 am.
Town of Fort Ann
Recovery: On June 24 at 11:11 am, Washington County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch regarding a broken cell phone call that originated with Warren County 911. The caller stated that a female hiker from Voorheesville was suffering a cardiac event. Coordinates were obtained, placing the party at Shelving Rock Mountain. Forest Rangers Logan Quinn and Joseph Hess responded. Forest Ranger Quinn reached the coordinates and requested dispatch to re-contact the caller for their location. Dispatch attempted to call the reporting party and texted. Ranger Quinn reached the hiking party at the summit of Shelving Rock at 12:22 pm, and immediately began assisting with CPR, which had been in progress for approximately one hour. Bay Ridge Advanced Life Support EMS personnel arrived a few minutes later. The 51-year-old hiker was declared deceased at 12:36 pm. DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI) investigators and the Washington County Coroner’s Office were notified and responded. The incident concluded at 2:36 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.