Forest rangers rescue injured hikers, locate missing hikers

Forest rangers throughout the Adirondacks responded to calls about multiple injured hikers and missing people throughout the past week.

Injured hikers rescued

On Sept. 14, at 11:14 a.m., Essex County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a hiker with a knee injury on the summit of Hopkins Mountain in the Giant Mountain Wilderness.

Rangers Andrew Lewis, Peter Morehouse, Jamison Martin, and Hannah O’Connor responded. Lewis and Morehouse stabilized the hiker’s knee and carried him down the trail where he was transferred to a 6-by-6 UTV.

The hiker was taken to the trailhead where he was met by his spouse and then driven to a hospital. Resources were clear at 4 p.m.

On Sept. 14 at 3:08 p.m., Essex County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 32-year-old hiker from Texas with a head injury on Giant Mountain.

Lt. Brian Dubay requested New York State Police Aviation assistance to insert rangers into the location. Two Forest Rangers were transported by NYSP one-half mile from the hiker’s coordinates.

The hiker was located at 7:45 p.m., evaluated, and treated for his injuries. Rangers helped the subject hike down to reunite with his hiking partner at 12:23 a.m.

On Sept 18 at 10:15 a.m., Hamilton County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 34-year-old hiker from Baldwinsville with a knee injury on the Castle Rock Trail in Blue Mountain Lake Wild Forest.

Forest Rangers Bruce Lomnitzer and Melissa Milano reached the subject at 11:12 a.m., and assisted him back to the trailhead. At 11:30 a.m., he advised he would seek medical attention on his own.

Missing hikers found

On Sept. 17 at 2 a.m., DEC’s Central Dispatch received a call from a hiker requesting assistance locating and helping his partner out of the woods.

The caller, who hiked ahead of the group from Illinois to get cell coverage, reported the subject was dehydrated, experiencing cramps, and could not continue. The caller believed the group was near Marcy Dam.

Ranger Hannah O’Connor located the hiker, provided an assessment, and assisted her back to the trailhead at 4:30 a.m.

On Sept. 19 at 5:22 p.m., Warren County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch to report two hikers lost on Tongue Mountain in the Lake George Wild Forest.

The hikers did not have food or water and had hiked down to the shore on Lake George.

Ranger Evan Donegan responded by boat from Green Island and brought the pair back to the boat launch. From there, they were given a courtesy ride to the trailhead. Resources were clear at 8:10 p.m.

Rope rescue training

On Sept. 17, Forest Ranger Jason Scott joined New York State Fire and New York Task Force-2 at Auger Falls in the Sacandaga River Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area for a practice rescue scenario.

Scott placed a mannequin at the falls and the team rigged a highline over the gorge to recover the mannequin. The training scenario focused on rigging, packaging, and extricating the patient.

Be prepared

The DEC is reminding everyone to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NY, Adirondack 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. If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911.


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