VALLEY RESCUERS KEPT BUSY OVER HOLIDAY WEEKEND

by Gair on October 9, 2012

NEWS HAMPSHIRE FISH AND GAME OFFICERS WERE KEPT BUSY OVER THE COLUMBUS DAY HOLIDAY WEEKEND COORDINATING SEARCH AND RESCUE EFFORTS IN THE VALLEY AREA.

IN THE FIRST INCIDENT SUNDAY, CONSERVATION OFFICERS WERE ASSISTED BY DEPUTIES FROM THE CARROLL COUNTY SHERIFFF’S OFFICE AND FIREFIGHTERS FROM CONWAY AND TAMWORTH AS THEY SEARCHED FOR A 12-YEAR-OLD BOY WHO BECAME SEPARATED FROM HIS MOTHER AND YOUNGER BROTHER WHILE HIKING ON MOUNT CHOCORUA’S PIPER TRAIL IN ALBANY.

AFTER INTERVIEWING OTHER HIKERS ON THE MOUNTAIN, RESCUERS LOCATED THE BOY WITH ANOTHER GROUP ON THE CHAMPNEY FALLS TRAIL ABOUT 6:30 P.M.AND HE WAS REUNITED WITH HIS FAMILY.

AS THAT INCIDENT WAS CONCLUDING, OFFICERS WERE NOTIFIED TWO BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY STUDENTS HAD BECOME LOST WHILE HIKING IN BARTLETT.

JANE VACHON SAYS 22-YEAR-OLD SCOTT BERGES OF MERIDEN, CONN. AND 21-YEAR-OLD JEFF MADRAK OF MESHOPPEN PENN. WERE CAMPING WITH FRIENDS OFF BEAR NOTCH ROAD WHEN THEY DECIDED TO BUSHWHACK TO THE TOP OF BEAR MOUNTAIN.

THE MEN DID MAKE IT TO THE TOP, BUT ON THE WAY DOWN THEY REALIZED THEY WERE RUNNING OUT OF DAYLIGHT – AND WITHOUT HEADLAMPS OR EXTRA CLOTHING OR FOOD – THEY CALLED FOR HELP SHORTLY BEFORE 6:30 P.M.

RESCUERS – INCLUDING CONSERVATION OFFICERS AND VOLUNTEERS FROM NEW ENGLAND K-9 SEARCH AND RESCUE – INITIATED A SEARCH BASED ON THE HIKERS’ CELLPHONE G.P.S. COORDINATES – BUT DID NOT KNOW THE HIKERS KEPT MOVING TO THE SOUTH THROUGH THE WOODS BEFORE BEING OVERCOME BY DARKNESS AND STOPPING.

AS A RESULT, THE PAIR SPEND THE NIGHT IN THE WOODS, WITH TEMPERATURES FALLING TO 35 DEGREES AND A FEW HOURS OF COLD RAIN. THE PAIR WAS FINALLY LOCATED BY A K-9 TEAM AT DAYBREAK MONDAY WHEN THEY MADE THEIR WAY OUT TO BEAR NOTCH ROAD.

CONSERVATION OFFICER SGT. BRIAN ABRAMS SAYS THE STUDENTS WERE HUMBLED BY THEIR EXPERIENCE AND VERY GRATEFUL FOR THE EFFORTS OF RESCUERS. ABRAMS CAUTIONS HIKERS DAYTIME TEMPERATURES CAN FALL DRAMATICALLY AT NIGHT THIS TIME OF YEAR AND THEY SHOULD CARRY EXTRA CLOTHING AND FOOD – AND ESPECIALLY A LIGHT, AS THE DAYS CONTINUE TO BECOME SHORTER. THE TRAILS CAN ALSO BE WET AND SLIPPERY AND ABRAMS SAYS A HIKING POLE OR WALKING STICK CAN PROVIDE BETTER STABILITY.

FOR MORE PREPARATION IDEAS, SEE THE WEBSITE AT www.hikesafe.com.

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