CONTACT:
Lt. Robert Bryant: 603-271-3127
Lt. Todd Bogardus: 603-271-3361
Jane Vachon: 603-271-3211 
May 11, 2009                

Distressed Hikers Assisted to Safety

CONCORD, N.H. -- Capping several incidents involving hiker rescues in New Hampshire over the weekend, rescuers helped an injured hiker to safety this morning (Monday, May 11, 2009), from a spot deep within the Pemigewasset Wilderness in Lincoln, N.H.  John Miramonti, of West Lebanon, N.H., age 49, set out with a companion on Saturday, May 9, planning on a multi-day hiking and camping trip from Zealand to Lincoln Woods on the Bondcliff Trail.  Miramonti injured his ankle during the hike on Saturday.  On Sunday, they realized that Miramonti might not be able to complete the hike, so his companion hiked on to Lincoln Woods to get help.  He reached there at midnight and notified authorities.  The hikers had a cell phone, but could not get a signal in their remote location nine miles into the Pemigewasset Wilderness. 

At daylight this morning, a rescue team went in, including New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Conservation Officers and members of Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue and Upper Valley Wilderness Response teams.  The rescuers were prepared to carry Miramonti out if needed, but the injured hiker was able to walk out under his own power with the team's assistance.  "That was a positive development, because it would have been an arduous carry," said Lt. Todd Bogardus, N.H. Fish and Game's Search and Rescue Team Leader.

In another incident involving hikers yesterday (May 10, 2009), 38-year-old Keith Owens of Cambridge, Mass., was rescued on the Gorge Trail on Mt. Moosilauke in the town of Benton, N.H.  Owens was hiking with three friends he had met on the website Craigslist.  He was wearing blue jeans, a fleece jacket, and sneakers, and had a garbage bag as emergency rain gear.  On his way up the mountain, Owens suffered leg cramps, but the group forged ahead instead of turning back, and used a cell phone to call for help once reaching the summit of Mt. Moosilauke at about 1:30 p.m.  With a nasty combination of rain and sleet blowing in, the hikers separated and began moving down the mountain.  They were met by a crew from the Warren Fire Department, which helped Owens out of the woods at around 5:00 p.m.  "These hikers were not prepared with provisions or gear for that type of weather, and did not stay together as a group," said N.H. Fish and Game Department Conservation Officer Gregory Jellison, who interviewed them after the incident.  "They were extremely fortunate to come out of there with just cold feet." 

For information on being safe while hiking, visit www.hikesafe.com.

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