Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Rangers respond to lost, injured, dehydrated hikers aged 21-71

forest ranger reportsTown of Wilmington
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Aug. 18 at 7:26 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from a woman reporting her 58-year-old husband had fallen, striking his head on the Flume Trail in the Wilmington Wild Forest. Forest Ranger O’Connor responded with Wilmington EMS. The hiker from Ohio was carried out to an ATV with the assistance of EMS and New York State Police and driven to the trailhead. At 8:42, the hiker was transferred to a waiting ambulance for further medical treatment.

Lewis County
Flooding Rescue:
 On Aug. 19, Lewis County Emergency Management requested assistance to evacuate residents stranded along the Black River from the rising flood water. Four Forest Rangers responded with an airboat. After multiple trips, seven individuals and their pets were ferried to safety. Two additional individuals were transported to safety using a high axle truck from the local fire department.

Town of Fort Ann
Washington County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Aug. 20 at 4:45 p.m., Washington County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 50-year-old man from Brooklyn with an arm injury on Shelving Rock. At 5:45 p.m., Forest Ranger Hess and Fort Ann EMS located the injured hiker and provided first aid. The responders walked the hiker back to the trailhead, and at 8:00 p.m., he was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

Town of Fort Ann
Washington County
Wilderness Search:
 On Aug. 20 at 6:25 p.m., Washington County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting two lost hikers on Buck Mountain. Forest Ranger Kabrehl responded to the hikers’ location using coordinates provided by 911. At 8:00 p.m., The Ranger located the couple from Rochester and walked them back to the trailhead. The group arrived at the trailhead at 8:45 p.m., and all resources were clear of the scene.

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Aug. 20 at 6:30 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance with a 24-year-old hiker from New Paltz experiencing signs of dehydration on Haystack Mountain in the McKenzie Wilderness Area. Prior to responding, Forest Ranger Praczkajlo conducted a phone interview and directed the hiker to self-hydrate and continue walking toward the trailhead. The Ranger met up with the hiker on the trail and assisted him back to the trailhead where he declined further medical attention. Ranger Praczkajlo was clear of the scene at 7:30 p.m.

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Aug. 21 at 11:30 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance with a 30-year-old hiker from Holbrook with an unstable knee injury on the Cascade Mountain Trail. At 12:15 p.m., Forest Rangers Evans and Lewis reached the hiker’s location and determined the injury was stable and proceeded to assist the hiker back to the trailhead. Once back at the trailhead, the subject declined further medical care. Rangers were clear of the scene at 1:20 p.m.

Town of Newcomb
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Aug. 21 at 4:50 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a hiker on Allen Mountain in the High Peaks Wilderness had pulled a muscle in his right leg and was exhibiting signs and symptoms of exhaustion. Forest Rangers Arnold and Scott responded to the trailhead with a six-wheel ATV. At 8:45 p.m., the Rangers located the 47-year-old man from Wynantskill and his hiking party. The Rangers wrapped the hiker’s upper right thigh and provided him with electrolytes and water. After a brief rest, the hiker was able to walk 1.5 miles to a waiting ATV and was transported out by Ranger Scott. The remaining members of the hiking party were escorted out of the woods by Ranger Arnold. The injured hiker was transported back to his vehicle and declined further medical attention. All Rangers were clear of the scene at 11:30 p.m.

Town of Fort Ann
Washington County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Aug. 21 at 6:35 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a group reporting their friends overdue from going out on Lake George on pool floats. The callers advised that two, 21-year-old men from Poestenkill and Averill Park had left their site at Shelving Rock at 3:30 p.m., heading toward a site known as the Calves Pen. At 7:40 p.m., Forest Ranger Donegan located the two missing men in the area of the Calves Pen and brought them to shore to a nearby parking lot. At 8:30 p.m., the two men were picked up by friends and the Ranger was clear of the incident.

Town of Santa Clara
Franklin County
Wilderness rescue:
 On Aug. 22 at 2:23 p.m., Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 71-year-old woman from Rochester had sustained an unstable hip injury after a fall. Five Forest Rangers, two Assistant Forest Rangers, and Tupper Lake EMS responded. Rescuers located the woman in a remote location on the North Shore of Little Square Pond in the Saranac Lake Wild Forest. The hiker was stabilized and packaged for transport back to the Fish Creek campground boat launch via a Forest Ranger boat. At 6:20 p.m., the woman was transferred to Tupper Lake Rescue and transported to a local hospital. Rescuers were clear of the scene at 7:00 p.m.

Town of Lake George
Warren County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Aug. 22 at 2:53 p.m., Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a lost hiker on Prospect Mountain. Forest Ranger Donegan responded to the coordinates provided by 911. At 5:20 p.m., Ranger Donegan located the 62-year-old hiker from Queensbury and escorted her out of the woods. At 6:20 p.m., the Ranger and hiker were back at the trailhead and clear of the scene.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NYAdirondack Backcountry Information, and Catskill Backcountry Information webpages for more information.

If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it’s for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they should call 833-NYS-RANGERS (833-697-7264). If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911. To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, the DEC website has phone numbers for every Ranger listed by region.

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NYS DEC

Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.




6 Responses

  1. JB says:

    I have not seen this kind of volume in quite some time, barring last week as well, of course!

  2. Boreas says:

    Dehydration was always my companion when I hiked. Hot or cold weather, I just lost a lot of water. Back in the 70s and 80s, most hikers were advised to fear giardia like it was cholera or something. It certainly was there in some places, but hardly the danger it was made out to be. Filters were just coming online, but they were added weight. I drank from cold running streams only when absolutely necessary. That was my downfall most of the time. But there are some really DRY hikes that need proper supplies of water to be carried in dry weather. Plan for it!

    Well, I have learned a lot in the intervening years. Severe dehydration or heat distress can kill you on the spot – directly or indirectly – under certain circumstances. Giardia may give you some unpleasant, but treatable, symptoms a few days down the road. Stay hydrated one way or another! And don’t wait until you are thirsty or feeling weak. Pre-hydrate when possible.

    I think proper and consistent hydration is something that is not emphasized nearly enough – even in winter.

  3. Charlie Stehlin says:

    “I drank from cold running streams only when absolutely necessary.”

    What you say brings back memories Boreas. The last time I drank water from a running stream was in Colorado in 1979. I forget exactly which course it was, but O’ how just the thought of being able to do such is a wonderful thought. There was a time this practice was as common as a change of socks, or underwear. Some of these old ways are still existent, especially in the Adirondacks as there are an ample supply of springs throughout, especially during rainy seasons when they appear out of the ground in places unexpected when one is making his or her way through the woods, especially so for bushwhackers, off-trailers. I know because I’ve been told by some of them whom I met in my passing’s over the years. It only makes sense, especially when you come to the realization how many wild places there are in the “Dacks” as my grandfather used to call them sacred woods.

    Regards that last time I drank water from a stream! I recall I got down on my knees in a woods (in Colorado), stuck my head in that water and sipped away to my hearts delight…and never got sick. Of course that was some years ago, and I was so much younger then, but this can still be done in some very few special places. Matter of fact I met an elder man recently in the Catskills at Claryville, who owns acreage down there. He told me that he does the same in the stream that runs behind his house; he kneels down and sips from it, it is the source of his drinking water. There are still some connections to our past, in some very few special places…..to keep the magic alive; some of which are right here in New York State out our back doors to those lucky few.

    • Boreas says:

      Charlie,

      Knowing what I know now, I am more afraid of tick-borne disease and future COVID variants than I am Beaver Fever. Doesn’t matter because I can’t really hike any more, but I would still start out with 2 quarts of “clean” water, but I wouldn’t hesitate to refill from a reasonably clear brook – especially if it were at higher elevation. I use clean parenthetically because my tap water probably contains nastier chemicals than what is rolling off Algonquin as we speak.

    • geogymn says:

      I drank right out of a tributary of Gore Creek back in 1981 and got a God awful case of Beaver Fever. Just bad luck methinks but never want to do that again.

  4. JT says:

    My son and I did a 36 mile hike in the Five Ponds wilderness area last July. We had a pump style water filter and each had a filter you sip water through right out of a stream. A problem we ran into was the high iron content of the water would clog the filters quickly and it would take forever to filter adequate quantities. We resorted to boiling extra water when camping for the next days hike. After that trip I bough one of those gravity style filters to have as well. It is good to have several options.

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