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Four search-rescue missions this week

Forest rangers with the state Department of Environmental Conservation carried out four search-and-rescue missions in the Adirondacks this past week.

Ranger School student lost

On Thursday, June 3 at 6:05 p.m., Forest Ranger Peter Morehouse received a call from staff at the Wanakena Ranger School reporting a student lost in the woods in the St. Lawrence County town of Clifton. Two rangers responded to assist Ranger School staff who were able to locate the missing 30-year-old student from Marcellus by using cellphone coordinates. Rangers helped her use her compass to find her way out of the woods, and the incident concluded by 8 p.m.

High Peaks Wilderness search

On Friday, June 4 at 1:06 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting a 20-year-old man from Penfield overdue from a hiking trip in the Lake Placid region. Per Forest Ranger Acting Lt. Jeffrey Balerno, rangers began searching trailheads in the High Peaks for the man’s vehicle.

At 1:50 p.m., Forest Ranger Peter Evans found the vehicle at the Adirondak Loj parking lot with no itinerary in the register book. After speaking to the reporting party further, Evans determined he was hiking Mount Marcy. Five forest rangers and assistant forest rangers, along with two DEC caretakers, responded to the location to assist with the search. New York State Police Aviation, with a forest ranger on board the helicopter, performed two flights over the area with negative results.

At 9:25 p.m., the missing hiker was located a quarter-mile up the trail from the Panther Gorge lean-to. Ranger Jason Scott advised they would spend the night in the lean-to and head out the following morning. On June 5, Scott and the hiker walked out to the Elk Lake trailhead. Evans then transported the man back to the town of North Elba, where he was reunited with his family. All resources were cleared from the scene at 2:15 p.m.

Hurt hiking Whiteface

On Saturday, June 5 at 4:58 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a group of four hikers on the Whiteface Mountain trail in the town of Wilmington reporting that a 23-year-old female hiker in their party suffered a knee injury approximately 1 mile from the summit. The injured woman, from Buffalo, was able to bear some weight on the knee, and the group was advised by Forest Ranger Lt. David Kallen, via dispatch, to continue to the summit for extraction by vehicle.

Forest Ranger Jenna Curcio responded by driving up the Whiteface toll road to the summit. Once on scene, Curcio hiked down to the group and splinted the injured party’s knee. She also supplied the hikers with headlamps and additional clothing before assisting them to the summit.

The group reached Curcio’s vehicle at 10:46 p.m., where they were later driven down the toll road and then assisted by a New York State Police patrol unit in getting back to their vehicle. The incident concluded at 12:20 a.m.

Man missing in woods

On Saturday, June 5 at 5:16 p.m., Forest Ranger Logan Quinn advised DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch that a vehicle belonging to a missing 80-year-old man from Clifton Park was located by State Police on U.S. Route 9 in the town of North Hudson. Witnesses in the area stated the car was parked at that location since 5:30 that morning. Quinn and State Police searched the wooded area near the man’s truck as well as the banks of the Schroon River with negative results.

A passing New York State Police unit found the missing man when he exited the woods and stepped out onto a highway in the area of the Sharps Bridge Campground approximately 4.5 miles north of his vehicle. The man was then transported back to the Schroon Lake State Police barracks to reunite with a family member.

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