Rangers rescue hike, snowmobiler

Forest rangers with the state Department of Environmental Conservation rescued an injured hiker and snowmobiler and located a teenager lost in the woods last week.

Mount Jo injury

Ray Brook dispatch received a call from a hiker who had slipped on ice near the summit of Mount Jo and potentially dislocated his shoulder at 12:20 p.m. on Feb. 13. Forest rangers Nicole DuChene and Hannah O’Connor reached the 75-year-old man from Syracuse at 1:20 p.m. and determined his shoulder was dislocated. Their attempts to pop his shoulder back in place were unsuccessful, but they did get his shoulder in a better position to be stabilized. Rangers put a sling on his shoulder and arm. At 2 p.m., Rangers Andrew Lewis and Robert Praczkajlo arrived and helped walk the hiker down the mountain. They reached the trailhead at 4:45 p.m.

Indian Lake ice rescues

A group of four snowmobilers were traveling southbound on Indian Lake around 10:35 a.m. on Saturday when the first rider in the group struck a 16-inch high-pressure crack. The rider, 67, and his snowmobile traveled 73 feet in the air before crashing to the ice, rolling end over end and stopping 250 feet from the crack. An ice fisherman saw the accident and called 911.

Forest rangers Nicholas Caswell, Bruce Lomnitzer, Melissa Milano and Jason Scott responded with Indian Lake Fire and EMS and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. During the response, a rescue ATV broke through the ice. The two first responders on the ATV self-rescued. Forest rangers used snowmobiles to bring the first responders to an ambulance at Indian Lake Islands campground and rescued the first responders’ ATV from the water.

They packaged the injured snowmobiler in a rescue toboggan. The snowmobiler was transported four miles across the lake to a waiting ambulance. He was taken to the hospital with significant injuries. Resources were clear at 1:11 p.m.

Whiteface wilderness search

Ray Brook dispatch received a call from Whiteface Ski Patrol about two off-trail teenagers, ages 15 and 17, at 5:15 p.m. on Sunday. Cell phone coordinates placed them west of the Little Whiteface Summit. Forest rangers Matthew Adams, Nicole DuChene and Andrew Lewis responded to the call.

At 6:34 p.m., Ranger Lewis learned the 15-year-old had made it back but the 17-year-old was still in a drainage area with a dead cell phone. Rangers and Ski Patrol located the 17-year-old at 8:30 p.m. and helped him out of the woods. Resources were clear at 9:32 p.m.


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