News and Updates

EnCon Forest Rangers conduct night time search and rescue training on Southern Lake Champlain

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers recently conducted night time search and rescue training with air boats on Southern Lake Champlain. With temperatures hovering in the single digits, rescue personnel employed a mock airplane crash as a potential search and rescue scenario. 

Supervisors briefed Forest Rangers on methods to complete search grids and locate predeployed objects in the water. Forest Rangers working on Division of Forest Protection air boats, assigned to the Adirondacks, were tasked with safely locating both debris and individuals using only lights and map coordinates.

Forest Rangers air boats have been utilized for search and rescue operations since 1990 when the first air boat was purchased and assigned to the Lake George area. Since then, the program has grown to include four boats, three assigned to the Adirondacks and one to western New York. Every year State Forest Rangers save countless lives throughout the state. Airboats are specialized watercraft which can navigate flood waters, lakes, rivers, ice jams and perform rescues in adverse conditions. Forest Ranger air boat operators are assigned missions based on their level of training and expertise.