New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents throughout New York State. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people.
What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers.
Town of Newcomb
Wilderness Rescue: On May 30th at approximately 11 pm, Forest Ranger Sabo was alerted to a hiker experiencing a medical event after an afternoon hike. Rangers Martin and Sabo reached the subject, monitored his condition, and stayed with him overnight. The following morning, the hiker was still in stable condition and Rangers began walking him out with his hiking companions to the Upper Works trailhead. Resources were clear at 8:30 am.
Town of Santa Clara
Search and Recovery: On May 26th at 1:30 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with the search for a missing 72-year-old from Inlet. Last seen by his wife on May 20th, the subject’s camp was searched with negative results. Inlet police pinged the missing man’s phone to the Santa Clara/Lake Clear area. Rangers Dicintio and Praczkajlo searched the St. Regis Canoe and surrounding areas. Ranger Praczkajlo located the subject’s vehicle at Little Green Pond in Lake Clear. Additional Rangers joined the search and located the subject’s boat at 3:40 pm. Five minutes later, they located the subject deceased in the water. The body was turned over to the County Coroner and DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crime Investigations. Resources were clear at 7 pm.
Town of Hunter
Near Drowning: On May 30th at 10:40 am, Forest Rangers Dawson, Fox, and Mitchell responded to a report of a near drowning at Fawn’s Leap in the Kaaterskill Wild Forest. The 25-year-old from New Jersey didn’t know how to swim and misjudged the depth of the water. He went under and was unresponsive, but friends performed CPR and the man regained consciousness. Greene County paramedics stabilized the patient and Rangers helped package him in a litter to carry the subject up a roadway embankment using a rope belay. The patient was flown to Albany Medical Center.
Town of Webb
Wilderness Rescue: On June 3rd at 11:50 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with the search for a group of separated campers on Stillwater Reservoir. Rangers Benzel and Lee responded. By 2:45 am, Rangers located the two canoeists and transported them and their gear to their campsite. Rangers then started a fire to warm up the group. One of the campers decided she wasn’t going to stay so the Rangers transported her back to her car. Resources were clear by 5 am.
St. Lawrence County
Town of Colton
Water Rescue: On May 25th at 8:30 pm, Ray Brook dispatch received a call from St. Lawrence County Dispatch requesting Forest Ranger assistance with an exhausted kayaker on the Raquette River. The 42-year-old kayaker made it to shore, but his coordinates placed him approximately two miles from the road. Rangers and fire department personnel surveyed the scene and planned for a swiftwater rescue. St. Lawrence County EMS called in a helicopter from Fort Drum, and at approximately 12 am, the kayaker was airlifted off the riverbank and transported to Samaritan Hospital in Watertown.
Town of Warwarsing
Dirt Bike Accident: On May 29th at 10:35 am, Forest Ranger Rusher responded to a dirt bike accident on Lundy Road in Warwarsing. A 50-year-old from Kingston had suffered a broken leg. At 11:26 am, the subject was assisted onto an Accord Fire Department UTV and then taken by ambulance to the hospital. Ranger Rusher issued five tickets at the scene for unlawful operation of motor vehicles in the Forest Preserve. Resources were clear by 2 pm.
Town of Denning
Hiker Search: On May 29th at 6 pm, Forest Rangers Franceschina, Martin, and Rusher began searching for a lost subject off Peekamoose Trail in Sundown Wild Forest. The 26-year-old was separated from his hiking group at approximately 2:30 pm. At 8:30 pm, Ranger Rusher located the hiker in good health, approximately one mile from the trailhead. Rangers and the missing hiker reached the trailhead and resources were clear at 9:19 pm.
Town of Middlesex
Wilderness Rescue: On May 24th at 5:45 pm, Forest Ranger Dormer responded to a report of a hiker with a head injury in Clark Gully in the High Tor Wildlife Management Area. Ranger Former set up a Unified Command with first responders from Naples Fire and Ambulance, Middlesex Fire, Rushville Fire, Canandaigua ALS, and the Ontario County High Angle Rope Rescue Team. Search and rescue teams found the injured 33-year-old from Bloomfield, helped carry him out, and loaded the hiker onto the UTV for transport to an ambulance. The Ranger assisted the rest of the hiking party to the trailhead. Resources were clear at 6:45 pm.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.