New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) forest rangers have been hard at work ensuring the safety of residents and recreators, and that means answering to the many calls that involve lost, stranded and injured hikers. Most recently, rangers and rescue teams have helped folks exploring the Catskill and Adirondacks Mountains as well as Bear Mountain State Park. Of the latest rescues, there was at least one fatality and several minor injuries.
On Saturday, two hikers, ages 29 and 30, got off course while exploring the Hurricane Ledge in Kaaterskill Wild Forest. Luckily, rangers were able to find the pair fairly quickly by 8:00 p.m. Officials reported that they didn’t sustain any visible injuries but that they were quite cold. After providing the hikers with food, warm liquids and dry layers, rangers helped the two find their way back to the trailhead.
That same day, another 42-year-old hiker from Staten Island injured his ankle while exploring Bear Mountain State Park’s trails. Unfortunately, the man could not safely exit the area on his own, so he called authorities for medical assistance. Once the three rangers reached the hiker, they stabilized his injury, loaded him onto a wheelable litter and transported him out via UTV to the parking area where an ambulance awaited.
Forest Rangers Come to Rescue of Hikers Stranded in Snowstorm
Also last week, a man was in an Oneida County creek when his ATV flipped. According to reports, rangers searched for 55-year-old Michael R. Ingersoll for two days. On December 10, they finally located his remains about a half-mile downstream from the overturned vehicle. Medical officials are currently conducting an autopsy to determine whether drowning was the cause of Ingersoll’s death.
Just a couple weeks before the recent death, rangers came to the rescue of a woman and her two dogs. While walking her companions on Mt. Marcy, the highest peak in New York State, the woman became lost. Luckily, she still had cell service and was able to reach rangers, who were able to trace her general location. They hiked to Marcy Dam to begin the ground search, making audio contact at 6:24 p.m. They found the hikers off trail in dense spruce, and escorted them back to the trailhead. It seems the trio were able to make it out of the woods without any injuries.
Also in November, forest rangers rushed to the aid of two Lewis County residents who became trapped in a snowstorm that yielded six feet of snow. One of the residents was apparently experiencing a cardiac episode. After forest rangers broke a trail for an SUV, they transported the pair to a Lewis County Search and Rescue ambulance that took him to a local hospital for treatment. Despite the medical event, the man was in stable condition.