On Monday, May 4 at 12:30 pm, while conducting a fly-over patrol, New York State Police Aviation noticed a vehicle in West Stony Creek in the Town of Benson, in Hamilton County.
State Police notified DEC Forest Ranger Lt. Dave Kallen, who 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, NYSP Troop G, Mayfield, Northville, Edinburg, and Hope fire departments responded to the scene. Forest Rangers Melissa Milano and David Nally also responded and brought cold water gear and a small inflatable watercraft to effect a swiftwater rescue.
Forest Rangers and fire department personnel secured the vehicle to shore as Lt. Kallen, a deputy from the Sheriff’s Office, and fire department members waded out to the motorist to bring him back to shore using an inflatable kayak.
Once on shore, emergency personnel put high angle rescue rigging in place to get the man up the steep embankment to a waiting ambulance.
The ambulance transported the man to a helicopter bound for a nearby hospital. At 1:40 pm, the incident concluded.
Environmental Conservation Officer Jason Hilliard reported that checked for any environmental hazards such as debris and possible leaks from the damaged vehicle.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers
Map provided by Adirondack Atlas. Photo of West Stony Creek incident courtesy of Bill Mahan.