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Speculator, NY ,

Ranger Report -- Winter 2013/14

Saturday, April 26, 2014 - Updated: 2:33 PM

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has released information about search and rescue missions that took place in Hamilton County this past winter.

Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, about 4:05 p.m.: DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office reporting a group of lost hikers in Blue Mountain Wild Forest in the Town of Indian Lake.

Alex Sleischer, 61, of Plainfield, N.J.; and Balazs Sebestini, 35, Kati Ohens, 38, and Bruno Ohens, 36, all from New Zealand, left the Rock Lake trailhead near Blue Mountain Lake at 11 a.m. to hike a short loop. They were lost without a map or compass.

A forest ranger responded while Ray Brook Dispatch made cell phone contact with the hikers to relay information back to him. Based on their answers, the ranger determined their location and found them at 4:35 p.m. They were returned to their vehicle four miles away in good health.

Friday, Feb. 28, about 12:03 a.m.: DEC Central Dispatch received a call from State Police reporting a snowmobile accident on Uncas Road in the Town of Long Lake, in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest.

A forest ranger responded along with Raquette Lake Volunteer Fire Department. They located the injured snowmobiler, Craig Smith, 43, Old Forge, about 0.7 mile from Raquette Lake and 50 feet from the road.

Smith was carried out to a waiting ambulance and transported to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Utica.

Sunday, March 16, about 1:46 p.m.: DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an injured skier in Pigeon Lake Wilderness in the Town of Inlet.

Gail Hoffman, 70, Holland Patent, was cross-country skiing on the Cascade Lake Trail when she fell and was injured. Two forest rangers responded along with Inlet and Eagle Bay fire departments and Inlet Police Department.

Hoffman was evacuated to the trailhead on a rescue sled, then transported by ambulance to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Utica.

Sunday, March 23, about 7:10 p.m.: DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office of an injured snowmobiler at Indian Lake Islands Campground in the Town of Indian Lake.

A forest ranger responded along with Indian Lake Volunteer Ambulance Corps. A 16-year-old female from Schenectady was ejected from her snowmobile while coming into the boat launch area.

She was transported by ILVAC to Glens Falls Hospital.

Forest rangers are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to search and rescue incidents on forest preserve, state forest and conservation easement lands.


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