Rangers help rescue driver from creek, sick camper

Ranger Report

Multiple agencies rescued a man and his vehicle from a fast-moving creek, and forest rangers with the state Department of Environmental Conservation rescued a sick man from a campsite on Forked Lake last week in the Adirondacks.

Swift-water rescue

On May 4 at 12:30 p.m., while conducting a fly-over patrol, the New York State Police Aviation Unit noticed a vehicle in West Stony Creek, in the Hamilton County town of Benson, and notified Forest Ranger Lt. Dave Kallen.

Kallen responded to the location and found a 61-year-old man from Northville trapped in a vehicle about 25 feet from shore, down a 15-foot embankment.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, State Police Troop G and the fire departments from Mayfield, Northville, Edinburg and Hope responded to the scene, along with Forest Rangers Melissa Milano and David Nally, who brought cold-water gear and a small, inflatable watercraft to help rescue the trapped motorist from swift-water conditions.

Forest rangers and fire department personnel secured the vehicle to shore as Kallen, a sheriff’s deputy and fire department members waded out to the motorist to bring him back to shore using an inflatable kayak. Once the motorist was on shore, emergency personnel put high-angle rescue rigging in place to get him up the steep embankment to a waiting ambulance. The ambulance then transported him to a helicopter bound for a nearby hospital.

At 1:40 p.m., the incident concluded, and DEC Environmental Conservation Officer Jason Hilliard checked for any environmental hazards such as debris and possible leaks from the damaged vehicle.

Ill camper rescued

On May 6 at 12:01 a.m., Hamilton County 911 contacted DEC’s Central Dispatch in Albany following an alert from a Garmin emergency beacon from two men camping on Forked Lake, in the town of Long Lake. One of the men was experiencing dizziness and loss of equilibrium. Coordinates provided by 911 indicated the men were in a lean-to on the southwestern side of the lake.

Forest Rangers Melissa Milano and Jason Scott responded to the location and provided first aid to the ailing man. Rangers then walked the 65-year-old man from Averill Park and the 66-year-old man from Delanson out of the woods to a road, where the ill man was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment. Rangers were cleared of the scene at 2:22 a.m.


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