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Published on May 28, 2024
National Guard Helicopter Rescues Injured Connecticut Hiker from White MountainsSource: Unsplash/ Ruben Hanssen

Over Memorial Day Weekend, a Connecticut man experienced a harrowing ordeal after sustaining a severe leg fracture while hiking in New Hampshire's White Mountains, which culminated in a dramatic helicopter rescue operation by the National Guard. The hiker, identified as 27-year-old Andrew Davis of West Hartford, faced the daunting task of dragging himself almost a third of a mile to a location where rescuers could reach him, according to reports from NBC Boston.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department was first alerted of the incident at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday via an SOS signal from Davis's emergency device while he was on Edmands Col Cutoff Trail; fish and game officials said the area between Mount Jefferson and Mount Adams where the accident occurred is known for its rugged, exposed terrain and is approximately 4 and a half miles from the nearest road which made the rescue efforts even more challenging. A Black Hawk helicopter was dispatched from Concord soon after the department received a brief, disconnected 911 call that managed to convey the gravity of Davis's injuries, the details supplied by Patch.

With the help of two Randolph Mountain Club caretakers, the injured hiker was located on the exposed ridgeline bearing the harsh brunt of his fractured leg. These volunteers, affiliated with the Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue and Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue, braved the terrain to assist in the search and rescue mission. When the National Guard helicopter, with its crew, arrived at approximately 3:40 p.m., they were not only able to land but also to secure Davis in a litter and expedite his transport to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin for treatment, as noted by the Union Leader.

The use of the Black Hawk helicopter was instrumental in not only ensuring Davis's swift evacuation but also in safeguarding several potential ground rescuers from partaking in a risky, hours-long traversal through the treacherous mountainous landscape. As Fish and Game officials highlighted, the rescue avoided going into the treacherous night hours, saving dozens of manpower and resources. As an experienced outdoorsman, Davis was praised for his readiness and adequate preparation for his travels within the White Mountains, possession of a Hike Safe card, and appropriate equipment for an extended stay despite the unfortunate circumstances stemming from the accident.