Lieutenant Mark Ober
August 16, 2021
Thompson & Meserve’s Purchase, NH – A Connecticut man died after suffering an unknown medical condition while hiking up the Jewell Trail on Saturday afternoon, August 14, 2021.
Officials say that a 66-year-old hiker from Naugatuck, CT, was hiking with his sons when he suddenly collapsed around 12:15 p.m., more than 2 miles up from the Base Station parking lot. His sons immediately started CPR and called 911. Fish and Game Conservation Officers were alerted to the emergency and started the rescue response.
Due to the nature of the medical emergency, air support was requested from the Army National Guard unit in Concord. They responded by scrambling a crew as quickly as possible, getting a Blackhawk helicopter in the air, and flying north from Concord.
The National Guard helicopter crew arrived at approximately 2:48 p.m., but was unable to reach the area on the Jewell Trail due to the low and thick cloud cover. Conservation Officers on scene attempted to guide the helicopter in to the hiker, but the thick cloud cover and lack of visibility prevented them from getting close enough. After several attempts, the helicopter was getting low on fuel and had to fly to the Berlin Airport to refuel.
At this time it was not clear that the helicopter could safely extract the hiker, so Fish and Game called in additional help from Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue (AVSAR) and Pemigewasset Search and Rescue (Pemi SAR) for a carryout of the hiker. Multiple volunteers answered the call for help.
During the time the helicopter was refueling, a front moved in and pushed the thick clouds out of the area, clearing the way for the helicopter to hover above the hiker. When the helicopter arrived back on station, they lowered a crew member and a litter down to the scene. The hiker was placed in the litter and hoisted up into the aircraft using a winch, a maneuver which did not require the helicopter to land.
Unfortunately, despite the exhaustive efforts by the hiker’s sons, who provided constant and tireless resuscitation efforts for over 2 ½ hours, and the arrival of the National Guard helicopter, the hiker did not survive. The hiker, whose name is being withheld pending notification to extended family members, was attempting to summit Mt. Washington with his three adult sons at the time of the incident.
No other information available at this time.