Posts Tagged ‘Search and Rescue’

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

DEC Lifeguard Qualifying Begins Jan 19

DEC logoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have announced that annual lifeguard qualifying procedures begin on January 19, 2019. New Yorkers looking for summer employment as a DEC lifeguard are encouraged to register for these free sessions.

Seasonal lifeguard positions are available in DEC campgrounds throughout the Adirondack and Catskill parks this summer. The current hourly rate for DEC lifeguards is $13.27, and most facilities offer free housing. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 3, 2018

Man Dies On Owl’s Head; Woman Rescued From Whiteface

DEC Forest RangerNew 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. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Dave Gibson: Push for DEC Personnel Increases, Again

Forest Rangers lead search and rescueI listened to NCPR’s Brian Mann recent report about NYS DEC Forest Ranger staffing, and the great pressures on the static ranger staff resulting from so many emergency incidents. DEC Commissioner Seggos’ remarks appeared to be resistant to the need for additional Forest Rangers. He was quoted as saying that the entire DEC staff must rally to help to relieve the pressures on the Rangers and – I would add – on all natural resource professionals at the DEC. In other words, don’t worry members of the media, members of the public, we always do more with less.

In my experience, this Commissioner is very responsive to issues facing him and pays attention to detail. I also know he supports his people in the field. However, it was important for him to hear the support for more DEC Forest Rangers from local government representatives, like Wilmington Town Supervisor and Essex County Board of Supervisors chair Randy Preston. The supervisor was persistent because he knows what we all know: that the DEC Commissioner has no authority to increase the number of rangers, or foresters, or wildlife or fisheries, or operations or campground professionals. The urgent message that DEC natural resource and lands and forests and ranger personnel are at the breaking point must get to the Governor. Local government officials make excellent messengers. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 17, 2018

A Perfect Storm of Bad Luck; One Tough Guy on Black Lake

A front-runner for 1930s “it seemed like a good idea at the time” award was 40-year-old Harry Baxter of Syracuse. In early September, he and his wife, Louisa, and one of their sons were camping at Black Lake in western St. Lawrence County. Thirty-six hours later he was in desperate straits, clinging to a small, rocky island and life itself.

Harry’s troubles resulted from a series of questionable choices. The first was fishing from a small boat in conditions that Baxter himself later described as heavy seas. The second was going alone, perhaps not the best idea, and the third was where he chose to fish — after all, alone and in stormy waters, where else to set up but near the center of the lake, which spans more than two miles at its widest point.

Because the water was quite rough, he anchored both ends of the boat, enabling him to stay in one spot to fish. While it seemed like a good idea at the time, it also prevented the boat from moving with the water, thus making capsizing much more likely from wave action and water splashing into the boat. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Sacandaga Lake: Man Rescued From Sinking Boat

small capsizing on Sacandaga LakeNYS Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Scott Pierce reported that on August 20th he was patrolling the Sacandaga Lake when he noticed a small boat along the shoreline. ECO Pierce said he approached the vessel, a 14-foot-long pram powered by an electric motor operated by an older gentleman who said he was looking for Moffit’s Beach State Campsite, about a mile across the lake.

ECO Pierce reported that he asked the man if he had a life vest on board and he did not, so he gave the man a spare life vest from his patrol boat. With the winds picking up, the man put it on and headed for the campground, saying he would return the life vest to the campground office when he was done with it, according to ECO Pierce. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 1, 2018

An 18-Year-Old Essex County Missing Person Case

Hakan KaracayState Police continue to investigate an 18-year-old missing person case from Essex County.

On September 21, 1999, the Clifton Police Department in New Jersey received a report of a missing person.

Family members reported that Hakan Karacay, a 28-year-old immigrant from Turkey, left his residence on September 20, 1999, at approximately 5 pm, operating a silver 1989 Mazda 626. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 27, 2018

A Lake George Mystery (Conclusion)

No one knew for certain what had happened to Alma Gatti and Jerry Walker after their disappearance on Lake George in summer 1949. To a certain extent, dragging for the bodies was a crapshoot because no one knew for sure where the presumed accident had occurred. There were no reported sightings of them that day, and no way to determine how far their canoe had drifted before reaching the shore.

Within a few days, first one paddle and then another, both stamped as belonging to Lamb’s Boathouse, were found in the vicinity of Watch Point, indicating that searchers were dragging the area likeliest to yield results. A Conservation Department boat continued working a five-square-mile area between Watch Point and Shelving Rock. Meanwhile, four state police divers spent an entire day probing the depths, but came up empty. » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 24, 2018

Cold Water Shock: A Mysterious Lake George Tragedy

The combined stories of Alma Gatti and Jerry Walker reveal two offspring any parent would be proud to claim as their own. Their young lives were filled with activities and accomplishments, suggesting a promising future ahead.

Jerry (Cuthbert Orton Walker Jr.), an Arkansas native, spent most of his childhood in Little Rock. He attended the University of Washington in Seattle in the early 1940s, and roomed with three friends while working as a furniture-store clerk. Life was interrupted by World War II, and beginning as an army private barely a month after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he spent 30 months in Europe, the Pacific, and the Middle East. His service ended in 1946 as a first lieutenant whose awards included the Philippines Liberation Medal and the Bronze Star. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

High Peaks Safety Program Going Live Online

adirondack mountain rescue logoAdirondack Mountain Rescue will present a High Peaks Safety Program live online on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 7 pm.

The number of search and rescue incident in the Adirondacks is increasing, straining the limited resources of the NYS Forest Rangers and other responders. This program will address common challenges and safety concerns in the High Peaks Region.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Lost in Boreas Country: Herbert Short, 1930

In early November 1930, a hunting party in the Boreas River area split up to do what Adirondack hunters so often do: execute a deer drive. Among those taking part were Lew Buck, Leo Adams, Edward White, Murray Short, and Murray’s brother Herbert. Herb was a corrections officer who had recently been promoted and transferred to Auburn Prison from Clinton Prison in Dannemora. It was Dannemora that provided the link between him and the other men: Buck was the village’s former postmaster, White was a retired Clinton keeper, and his close friend Adams still worked there as a guard.

Concern mounted at day’s end when the men reassembled and Herbert was a no-show. But he was a very experienced woodsman, and the entire party was aware that a storm was moving into the area, so in that sense he was prepared for anything. His companions surmised he may have been turned around while trying to get back to camp before the snow fell. At that point, the explanations they considered carried reassurances that everything was OK, or soon would be. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

SAR Scholarship Recalls Hiking Death of Hua Davis

search and rescue logoSearch and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks (SARNAK), an all-volunteer non-profit based in Saranac Lake, has announced the inaugural Hua Davis Wilderness Scholarship in memory of an unprepared hiker who died in the High Peaks region of the Adirondack Park.

On Friday, March 4th, 2016, Hua Davis, an avid hiker from Wilmington, Delaware, set out to scale MacNaughton Mountain in the High Peaks Wilderness. She made it to the summit of the mountain, but died from hypothermia due to exposure later that same day. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Recent Adirondack Forest Ranger Missions

DEC Forest RangerNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers responded to 15 search and rescue incidents in the past two weeks 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. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Search On For Missing High Peaks Hiker Alex Stevens

Alex Stevens, Hiker Missing Sept 2017New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Rangers, working with New York State Police and the Hopewell, New Jersey Police Department, are searching the Western High Peaks Wilderness for Alex Stevens, 28, of Hopewell.

DEC is asking anyone who may have seen Stevens or has information about his whereabouts to contact the New York State Police at 518-897-2000.

DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call on at 1:25 p.m., on Sunday, September 10, from a family member reporting Alex Stevens overdue from a hike into the southern High Peaks Wilderness in the town of Newcomb, Essex County. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Search And Rescue Presentation At Adirondack History Museum July 27th

Adirondack History MuseumThe Adirondack History Museum will continue its summer lecture series on Thursday, July 27 with “Search and Rescue in the Mountains” by presenter Ron Konowitz.

Konowitz, who is well known as an avid backcountry skier, is also the wilderness rescue coordinator for the Keene and Keene Valley fire departments. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

NYS Forest Ranger Ranks Stagnant While Workload Rises

Forest Ranger Rob Praczkajlo covers the district just east of the High Peaks Wilderness, namely the towns of Jay, Elizabethtown, and part of North Hudson. Due to the high rate of search and rescue operations in the adjacent High Peaks, he is just as likely to be found there as he is patrolling his own district.

The High Peaks district had more than 100 emergency incidents in 2015 and they do not occur in a vacuum. They are not handled exclusively by the half dozen rangers stationed there. Rangers from all parts of the Adirondacks, and the Forest Preserve they protect, are affected by the drain from so many incidents. The following chronicles one week in July for Ranger Praczkajlo. » Continue Reading.