Sgt. Heidi Murphy
August 8, 2023
Orford, NH – At approximately 12:40 p.m. on August 7, 2023, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department was notified of a hiker that was in distress near the summit of Mt. Cube in Orford. The hiker was descending from the summit when he slipped and fell on a wet, steep area, striking his head severely. He was hiking with his spouse who was able to call 911 for assistance. The hiker, identified as Patrick Tyler, age 70, of Hollis, NH, and his wife are avid hikers and had prepared for the day’s weather. Conservation Officers, members of the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team and personnel from Orford, Hanover, Thetford, Lyme, Canaan, Rumney, Wentworth, and Grafton fire departments all started to respond to Tyler’s location.
Unfortunately, Tyler’s conditioned deteriorated in a short period of time. The NH Army National Guard Blackhawk crew was requested to assist in the rescue because Tyler was experiencing a life-threatening situation. As the flight crew was assembling the ground crews were quickly making their way to Tyler’s location. They reached Tyler and his spouse at approximately 2:30 p.m. and began efforts to stabilize his condition. At 2:45 p.m., the NH Army National Guard Blackhawk crew started their flight from Concord. Generally it would take about 25 minutes for the Blackhawk to arrive. Due to worsening weather, the flight crew could only make it as far as Plymouth because Mt. Cube was socked in with rain and low cloud cover. The flight crew made a second attempt from the west but still could not make it to Tyler’s location safely.
At approximately 3:50 p.m. it was determined that a helicopter rescue would no longer be an option because the weather was expected to get worse. By that time, the ground crews had been able to stabilize Tyler and had begun to descend Mount Cube via the Cross-Rivendell Trail. Tyler and the rescue crews arrived at the trailhead at approximately 5:20 p.m. He was transported to Dartmouth Health in Hanover by the Upper Valley Ambulance for further evaluation and treatment.
Tyler and his spouse were well prepared and had purchased a HikeSafe card. Having a hiking partner who could notify emergency personnel helped save Tyler’s life. Had Tyler been hiking alone the outcome of his situation could have been much worse. For additional information, please visit www.hikeSafe.com.