CONTACT:
Lt. James Goss: 603-271-3361
Jane Vachon: 603-271-3211 
May 18, 2009
     
Four Massachusetts Hikers Rescued in New Hampshire's White Mountains

CONCORD, N.H. -- Four young hikers lost in darkness without map or lights on the Attitash Mountain Trail in Bartlett, N.H., were rescued late last night (Sunday, May 17, 2009) by New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Conservation Officers.  They are Julie Davenport, age 21, from North Brookfield, Mass.; Kyla Batchelder, age 21, of Stoughton, Mass.; Joslyn Phelps, age 21, Pittsfield, Mass.; and Tim Bergman, age 20, North Brookfield, Mass.  The rescued hikers are all in good condition.

The four were staying in the Barlett area and decided to go for a hike on Sunday.  They set out on the Attitash Mountain Trail, in the White Mountain National Forest in the town of Bartlett, at about 5:00 p.m.  They did not have a trail map, backpacks or any lights with them.  They mistakenly thought that the trail was a loop trail that would return them to the trailhead.  In fact, the trail they were following was a more than eight-mile hike over two mountaintops.

As darkness fell, the hikers lost the trail.  They stopped by a stream, Lucy Brook, and were able to use a cell phone to call for help at about 9:00 p.m. Sunday evening.  Two N.H. Fish and Game Conservation Officers hiked in and found them at around 11:30 p.m., using whistles and lights to signal their presence to the hikers.  The group was 2.8 miles from trailhead when they were located.  The search team then helped the hikers walk out, reaching the trailhead with them at 1:00 a.m. today. 

No further information is available at this time.

New Hampshire Fish and Game urges all those enjoying New Hampshire's outdoors to review and practice the hikeSafe Hiker Responsibility Code (below), and encourage others to do so.  You are responsible for yourself, so be prepared:

  • With knowledge and gear. Become self-reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather and your equipment before you start.
  • To leave your plans. Tell someone where you are going, the trails you are hiking, when you'll return and your emergency plans.
  • To stay together. When you start as a group, hike as a group, end as a group. Pace your hike to the slowest person.
  • To turn back. Weather changes quickly in the mountains. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also affect your hike. Know your limitations and when to postpone your hike. The mountains will be there another day.
  • For emergencies. Even if you are headed out for just an hour, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening. Don't assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself.
  • To share the hiker code with others.

For information on being safe while hiking, including ten essential items to have with you, visit www.hikesafe.com.

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