Rescue volunteers, rangers take ill hiker out of Baxter

Posted June 12, 2011, at 9:29 p.m.

BAXTER STATE PARK, Maine ― Rescue workers hope to have a 20-year-old hiker at Millinocket Regional Hospital if he needs to be by midnight Sunday after taking him by stretcher to an ambulance.

Details were scarce as of Sunday night, but it appears that the man, who has a physical disability, had already scaled Mount Katahdin and returned to Chimney Pond Campground on Saturday when he started to complain of sickness, park director Jensen Bissell said.

The man stayed in the campground into Sunday, but it appeared that the man’s condition deteriorated by late Sunday afternoon until park rangers, after consulting with the man’s family, decided that the best course of action would be to have him hospitalized, Bissell said.

“His condition didn’t really improve as the weekend went on,” Bissell said Sunday night during a telephone interview.

About 30 rescue workers, including members of the Wilderness and Lincoln search and rescue teams and park rangers, had carried a litter to the man and were on their way down from Chimney as of 8:30 p.m. They hoped to meet an ambulance at Roaring Brook Campground at about 11 p.m., Bissell said.

The stretcher team was traversing about 3.3 miles of difficult terrain and descending about 1,400 feet.

“There are worse evacuations in the park,” Bissell said, “but there are easier ones, too.”

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