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 Santa Clara, Franklin County
Wilderness Search: On Aug. 27 at 9:50 p.m., Fish Creek Campground caretakers called Ray Brook Dispatch to report two overdue campers who were not equipped with headlamps, food, or water. Forest Rangers Curcio and O’Connor searched the Otter Hollow trail from Square Pond. A campground employee flagged down the Rangers to report they heard voices on the other side of Whey Pond. Ranger O’Connor located a 32-year-old and 13-year-old from Kingston. The 13-year-old was in a tree along the northern shore of Rollins Pond. Rangers walked the pair back to the campground, arriving at 1:15 a.m.
Town of Belfast, Allegany County
Wilderness Search: On Aug. 28 at 7:45 p.m., Forest Ranger Thaine and the New York State Police (NYSP) responded to a report of a missing child. The 13-year-old’s family advised the teen had left four to five hours earlier to look for the family dog. The dog returned home without the boy. The family also indicated the subject suffers from episodes of passing out. An Allegany County Sheriff’s Office drone made a possible sighting in the woods a short distance from the residence. At 9:15 p.m., Ranger Thaine and NYSP Troopers found the boy unconscious, but breathing. Rescuers revived the subject, provided him with water, and walked him home. Belfast Ambulance transported the teen to the hospital as a precaution. Resources were clear at 11:00 p.m.
Town of Lake Pleasant, Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue: On Aug. 29 at 9:30 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance for a subject with an ankle injury at the Carry Pond lean-to. The 32-year-old was hiking the Northville-Placid Trail and used a beacon device to advise his father he couldn’t walk and that he was cold and wet. At 12:00 a.m., Rangers Miller and Temple reached the subject, who was dehydrated and lethargic. Rangers started a fire, wrapped the subject in a sleeping bag, and provided tea and honey. At 1:00 a.m., Rangers created a hypowrap to keep the subject warm while driving him out on their ATV. When they reached the Cedar River Flow campsites, Rangers determined the subject did not have any injuries and was well enough to camp the night at that location. Rangers helped pitch a tent and lent the subject a sleeping bag. Resources were clear at 2:30 a.m.
Town of Wilmington, Essex County
Wilderness Rescue: On Sept. 2 at 4:00 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch alerted Forest Rangers to a hiker with a possible broken ankle on Whiteface Mountain. The subject’s boyfriend was able to carry her for approximately a quarter of a mile before calling for help. At 5:05 p.m., Ranger O’Connor reached the 26-year-old from New Hampshire, splinted their fractured fibula, and provided warm clothes. Rangers Booth, Curcio, Duchene, and Praczkajlo arrived with a backpack carrier system and began carrying the subject to the trailhead. Rangers reached the trailhead at 7:25 p.m. The subject’s boyfriend drove her to the hospital.
Town of Indian Lake, Hamilton County
Wilderness Search: On Sept. 2 at 8:52 p.m., Forest Ranger Lieutenant Kerr and Rangers Miller, Nally, and Snye responded to a report from Hamilton County for a missing hiker, last seen at Northern Frontier Camp at 2:00 p.m. The search continued unsuccessfully until 3:40 a.m. At 7:30 a.m., eight Rangers resumed searching along drainages, the Hudson River Gorge, and OK Slip Falls. At 10:10 a.m., while searching via kayak, Ranger Scott located the 64-year-old from Massachusetts at Elephant Rock, in good health. Ranger Scott provided a personal floatation device and transported the subject by raft to North River, where he was transported back to the Northern Frontier Club and reunited with his camping group. Resources were clear at 3:00 p.m.
Town of Bolton, Warren County
Water Recovery: On Sept. 3 at 1:45 p.m., the Warren County Sheriff’s Office requested Forest Ranger assistance with the recovery of a deceased individual in the Schroon River. A 23-year-old woman was reported missing when she failed to arrive at a family camping trip. A kayaker discovered an overturned vehicle in the river and called for help. Ranger Donegan and members of the Bolton, Chester, and Horicon Fire Departments worked with the Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police to recover the subject from the vehicle. Warren County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation. Resources were clear at 6:45 p.m.
Town of Indian Lake, Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue: On Sept. 3 at 2:30 p.m., five Forest Rangers responded to a call for a hiker with a possible broken ankle on the OK Slip Falls trail. Rangers reached the 47-year-old from Niskayuna and stabilized and splinted their lower leg. Rangers and Indian Lake Fire Department volunteers used a wheeled litter to bring the subject to an Indian Lake ambulance. Resources were clear at 5:00 p.m.
Town of Keene, Essex County
Wilderness Rescue: On Sept. 4 at 5:35 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a mother stating her 19-year-old son had fallen while descending Mount Colden in the High Peaks Wilderness. The caller advised her son had hit his head and had an unstable leg injury. New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation and DEC Forest Rangers responded. Ranger O’Connor served as the hoist operator. Along with NYSP Pilot Beck, Ranger O’Connor lowered Ranger Praczkajlo to the subject from New Jersey. Ranger Praczkajlo harnessed the hiker who was hoisted into the helicopter and flown to the hospital. Ranger Praczkajlo hiked out with the rest of the hiking party and provided the group with water and head lamps. Resources were clear at 10:34 p.m.
Town of Keene, Essex County
Wilderness Rescue: On Sept. 4 at 8:00 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a rescue beacon that a hiker was suffering from dehydration and was unable to move. Forest Rangers Duchene and Ordway reached the 38-year-old from Vermont two miles in on the Phelps Mountain Trail in the High Peaks Wilderness. Rangers rehydrated the hiker and walked slowly with him and his hiking companions back to the trailhead where he declined further medical care. Resources were clear at 10:45 p.m.
Town of Minerva, Essex County
Wilderness Rescue: On Sept. 4 at 9:56 p.m., New York State Police requested Forest Ranger assistance with the rescue of 15 college students stranded at the confluence of the Boreas and Hudson rivers. The group was rafting Hudson Gorge when they got stuck a short distance upstream from the confluence railroad bridge. Rangers ensured there were no injuries, provided headlamps, and helped walk the group to the tracks where they pedaled back using Revolution Rail Company. Resources were clear at 1:15 a.m.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.