DEC ranger searches and rescues

A hiker in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness area died while being evacuated by state Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers last week, but rangers also rescued two lost people and returned from battling wildfires in California.

Town of Johnsburg

On Wednesday, Nov. 1, a DEC trail crew radioed for help after getting a report that a man in his late 70s was having a possible cardiac incident in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area.

The man was on the Puffer Pond Trail when the crew was notified at 5 p.m. A half-dozen rangers, members of the trail crew and members of the Indian Lake fire department responded and began a carry out. Due to inclement weather, state police aviation was not available.

At 6:59 p.m., the ill man was pronounced deceased, and the carry out wrapped up at the trailhead at 11 that night.

Town of Keene

On Saturday, Nov. 4, Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC dispatch from a lost hiker. The 24-year-old man was lost near Marcy Dam, and despite poor cellphone service, dispatch was able to gather some information on the man’s location. The man had no headlamp and his cellphone was dying.

One ranger responded and located the man after 8 p.m. The man was escorted back to his vehicle in good health.

Town of Schroon

Just before 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5, DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a call about a missing 55-year-old hunter. Dispatch had the hunter call 911 so that Essex County could determine his cellphone coordinates, which put him near Crane Pond Road.

Ranger Benjamin Baldwin responded and located the hunter — who had built a small fire to stay warm — in good health. Baldwin reconnected the man to his hunting party and was clear of the scene by 8:30 that night.


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