Conservation Officer Matthew Holmes
August 10, 2023
Thompson and Meserve’s Purchase, NH – On the afternoon of Wednesday, August 9, 2023, rescue personnel from around the state teamed up to help a severely injured hiker off of Mount Madison. At approximately 12:15 p.m., Susan Beaudoin, 54, from Quebec, Canada, slipped and fell from a perched rock on the Daniel Webster Scout Trail, sustaining a very serious leg injury. Following the incident, Beaudoin’s husband ran up the trail to locate an area of cell phone coverage and ultimately made a 911 call for help.
New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Conservation Officers were notified of the incident at approximately 1:00 p.m. A Conservation Officer was eventually able to make cell phone contact with the reporting party and also receive text message pictures of the injury. The pictures made it blatantly clear the injury could be potentially life threating, so a response was initiated accordingly. Rescue personnel from the Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue Team (AVSAR), Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), New Hampshire Army National Guard, and additional New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Conservation Officers were all called upon to respond for emergency assistance.
Ground personnel hiked over 2 miles from both Dolly Copp Campground in Pinkham Notch and from the AMC Madison Spring Hut, arriving at Beadoin’s location at approximately 2:45 p.m. Additional first aid was rendered to Beaudoin, and a suitable location was identified for a helicopter hoist extraction.
At approximately 4:00 p.m., a helicopter crew from the New Hampshire Army National Guard arrived on scene, having flown north from Concord. Once on scene, the crew utilized a winch line to provide ground crews with a litter. Beaudoin was ultimately secured in the litter and hoisted up through the trees to the hovering helicopter. She was then transported by air straight to
Memorial Hospital in North Conway for further evaluation and treatment of her injuries. Although severe, all indications at that time of the extraction indicated that Beaudoin would survive her ordeal.
Beaudoin and her husband were both experienced hikers who were well prepared for their adventure. They had checked the weather prior to ascending into the mountains for the day and were prepared with the knowledge of whom to call in case of an emergency. Rescue crews were equally prepared, and upon receiving the call responded with the right equipment, knowledge, and attitude required to save life and limb in the remote corners of the state.