Lieutenant Mark Ober
August 10, 2020
Sargent’s Purchase, NH – On August 9, rescue personnel from NH Fish and Game, Androscoggin Valley Search & Rescue (AVSAR), Mountain Rescue Services (MRS), and the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) responded to a call of an injured hiker on the Lion Head Trail in Sargent’s Purchase. The initial 911 call came in at approximately 1:45 p.m. and reported that a 44-year-old male hiker had suffered a serious lower-leg injury while descending Lion Head Trail and needed to be carried down. Conservation Officers utilized their department-issued ATVs to drive up to the Hermit Lake Shelter to help expedite the rescue. Due to the nature of the injury, assistance with patient transport was requested from Gorham Fire Department. They responded with the Southern Coos County Emergency Response Rescue Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) which was able to ascend the Sherburne Ski Trail where they met the rescue crew.
Rescuers made initial contact with the victim, identified as Eric Eldridge of Center Ossipee, NH, at 4:45 p.m. approximately 0.25 miles up Lion Head Trail from the Tuckerman Ravine Trail junction. Eldridge was assessed and provided initial medical treatment by an EMT from AVSAR and he was placed in a litter at approximately 5:10 p.m. as the rescue crew began the slow carryout down steep terrain to the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. From there, Eldridge was carried up to the Hermit Lake Shelter and then down the Sherburne Ski Trail where the crew was met by the rescue UTV which brought Eldridge to the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, arriving at 7:45 p.m.
Along with the Conservation Officers, AVSAR, MRS, and AMC members, several other hikers volunteered in carrying Eldridge down the trail.
Eldridge had been attempting a day hike up Tuckerman Ravine Trail to the summit of Mt. Washington and had been on his way back down when the accident occurred.
Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to purchase a Hike Safe card at wildnh.com/safe. The card helps support Fish and Game search and rescue activities. For more information on safe hiking tips and a list of essential gear please visit http://www.hikesafe.com.