New York Hiker Falls 50 Feet Down Embankment, Suffers ‘Significant Ankle Injuries’

by Amy Myers
Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

On Saturday, New York forest rangers responded to a call regarding a hiker that fell 50 feet down an embankment in Lewis County.

The unnamed hiker sustained “significant ankle injuries,” according to authorities, and could not get back to level ground without external help. The accident occurred at Inman Gulf in the town of Pinckney.

Given the steepness of the trail and the difficulty of the terrain, New York forest rangers utilized a rope rescue system to extract the hiker. With seven rangers at the site, the team secured the 22-year-old man from Texas to the litter, clipped him into the rope system and hoisted him to safety. The entire rescue effort took roughly five hours to complete. Once the man was safely off of the slide, the rangers passed him over to Lewis County Search and Rescue which then transported him to the nearby hospital.

The rescue took the cooperation of three different fire departments, the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Division of Law Enforcement and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

New York Forest Rangers Rescue Equestrian with Potential Spinal Injury

This wasn’t the only hiker rescue to occur in Lewis County recently. On September 14 at around 1 p.m., another New York adventurer suffered a “possible spinal injury” along the equestrian trails in the Independence Wild Forest. According to state forest rangers, a horse had thrown a rider from its back on the Otter Creek horse trails. Upon receiving the call from other concerned travelers, the Martinsburg Fire Department and “secured the 32-year-old from Clarence Center to a backboard.”

“Ranger Evans arrived with a six-wheeler and customized litter carrier to transport the patient to a waiting Lewis County Search and Rescue ambulance. Resources were clear by 1:45 p.m.,” the report continued.

According to New York’s DEC, the state has seen a recent uptick in outdoor recreators and, consequently, rescues.

“Over the last decade, as well as during the COVID-19 pandemic, DEC saw an increase in people visiting State lands to experience New York’s abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos stated. “DEC’s Forest Rangers continue to be on the front lines to help visitors get outside responsibly and get home safely, as well as to protect our state’s irreplaceable natural resources. Rangers’ knowledge of first aid, land navigation, and technical rescue techniques are critical to the success of their missions, which for more than a century have taken them from remote wilderness areas with rugged mountain peaks, to white water rivers, and throughout our vast forests statewide.”

Last year, New York forest rangers “conducted 426 search and rescue missions, extinguished wildfires, participated in prescribed fires that served to rejuvenate hundreds of acres of land, and worked on cases that resulted in thousands of tickets or arrests.”