Conservation Officer Christopher McKee
Region Two Office, New Hampton, NH
January 22, 2019
Bethlehem, NH – Fish and Game Conservation Officers and volunteers from Pemi Valley Search and Rescue conducted a carry-out of an injured hiker from the Zealand Hut in Bethlehem on Saturday. The hiker, identified as 64-year-old Keith Watling of Southborough, Massachusetts, had suffered a leg injury and was not able to hike out on his own.
The injury had initially occurred late Friday afternoon while Watling was at the Zealand Hut. It was determined that Watling should spend the night at the hut and see how he felt in the morning. Watling was unable to walk or bear any significant weight on the injured leg, and a rescue call was initiated.
Rescue personnel were able to snowmobile 4 miles to the trailhead and had to break trail in deep snow for over 2.5 miles via Zealand Hut Trail where they met the patient along with the AMC caretaker and other hikers who had assisted him from the hut. Watling was packaged in a rescue litter and transported down the trail arriving at the Twin Mountain Rescue sled where he was taken the last 4 miles to the parking lot arriving at approximately 3:10 P.M.
Watling was an experienced hiker and was well prepared with all the recommended gear for a winter hike.
For additional hiking safety information visit www.hikesafe.com.