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.
Village of Waverly
Wilderness Recovery: On November 9th at 2:30 pm, Forest Rangers Petit and Seeley responded to Glenn Park to search for a missing person. The 30-year-old’s vehicle was found in the parking lot and had been there for four days. At 4:30 pm, a drone operated by Bradford County Emergency Services located the subject deceased on village property. Rangers Petit and Seeley assisted with the recovery and helped transport the body to the coroner. Resources were clear at 5:30 pm.
Town of Gardiner
Wilderness Rescue: On November 12th at 11:40 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with the search for two overdue hikers at the Mohonk Preserve. A 47-year-old man and his nine-year-old daughter started hiking at 3 pm, but were not prepared to hike back in the dark. The pair attempted to bushwhack off trail to get to a road, but were blocked by a rapidly moving creek. The temperature began to drop and it started to rain. The hikers did not have adequate clothing or headlamps and were unfamiliar with the Preserve and its rugged terrain. In addition, the duo did not have cell service to call for help. A family member called 911, but did not know precisely where to direct the responding Rangers. Ranger Rusher, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, and five Mohonk Rangers searched trails and carriage roads until 3:30 a.m. At 4:15 am, the subject had enough service and called his wife. Ranger Rusher determined the hikers’ general vicinity and talked them through bushwhacking back to the closest trail. At 5:45 am, Ranger Rusher found the pair on Old Minnewaska trail. The subjects were shivering and wet. Ranger Rusher provided jackets, hats, headlamps, water, and snacks before walking them out of the woods. Resources were clear at 7:15 am. DEC reminds hikers that after turning back the clocks recently, it gets darker earlier. Hikers should always have flashlights or headlamps, even if they do not plan to hike at night. Hikers should also let a family member or friend know where they are hiking and when they plan to return.
Hamlet of Port Ewen
Wilderness Recovery: On November 13th at 7:30 am, Forest Ranger Martin was the incident commander in the search for a missing woman in Port Ewen. Rangers Cowart, Fox, Franceschina, Parlier, and Sweeney responded with other volunteers and the missing subject’s family. The search included a mounted horse, drone, and intensive searching through tough vegetation. At 3:45 pm, the family found the 74-year-old approximately 600 feet from her house. Rangers believe she fell while walking on her property and was unable to make it back to the house.
Town of Fort Ann
Wilderness Rescue: On November 12th at 3:30 pm, Forest Rangers Donegan and Poulton responded to Buck Mountain for a hiker with a reported broken wrist. The 60-year-old from Alplaus had slipped on rocks on the trail and injured her wrist, but was able to continue walking with assistance from other hikers. Rangers met the hiker on the trail, evaluated the injury, and splinted her wrist. The hiker’s husband met her at the trailhead and took her to the hospital.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.
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