Lieutenant Bradley Morse
June 30, 2020
Bartlett, NH – New Hampshire Fish and Game was called to search for three missing hikers in the vicinity of the Moat Mountain and Red Ridge Trail in Bartlett. Ryan Elkassem, 21, from New York City, was hiking with his 18-year-old brother and 16-year-old stepbrother. They had planned to hike the Moat Mountain Trail to the Red Ridge Trail ending at Diane’s Bath on West Side Road. The group departed the Moat Mountain Trail at approximately 3:30 p.m. and anticipated it would take approximately 3-4 hours to complete the 8.7-mile hike. When they did not arrive at the intended pick up location at Diane’s Bath by 9:30 p.m., Ryan’s father called for assistance. Conservation Officers arrived shortly before 11:00 p.m. and began searching the trails for Ryan and his companions.
At approximately 5:30 a.m. on June 30, Ryan called his father who requested he call 911 to determine their location. 911 dispatch was able to acquire the hikers’ coordinates. Conservation officers were within 0.4 miles of their location and quickly located them. They were cold, wet, thirsty and tired but otherwise in good spirits. They had lost cell signal while on the Red Ridge Trail and went off trail after it got dark. They were able to construct an emergency shelter with their ponchos and spent the night out of the rain. When they got up shortly after sunrise, they were able to get cell phone reception and call for assistance.
New Hampshire Fish and Game relies heavily upon volunteer rescue groups to complete the mission of search and rescue in the woodlands of the state. The public is encouraged to help support search and rescue activities in the state by purchasing a Hike Safe card. New Hampshire Fish and Game also reminds hikers to prepare themselves before venturing out into the wilderness, including packing the ten essential items: map, compass, warm clothing, extra food and water, headlamp, fire starter, first aid kit, whistle, rain/wind jackets and pants, and a knife. For additional information, please visit www.hikeSafe.com.