Acadia rangers help injured climber, possibly suicidal man

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff
Posted June 01, 2012, at 11:36 a.m.

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — An injured rock climber, a suicidal subject and an apparent theft attempt from a motor vehicle kept rangers pretty busy on Thursday.

All incidents ended relatively well, however, Ranger Ed Pontbriand said Friday morning. Aside from a broken car window, the only damage rangers had to deal with was the climber’s ankle, which may have been fractured.

All three incidents happened roughly around mid-afternoon Thursday, forcing rangers and this season’s new trainees to scramble to handle all the calls at once, Pontbriand said.

The rock climber was bouldering without the use of ropes around 3 p.m. in Monument Cove, near Otter Cliffs, when she fell several feet, the ranger said. She and her climbing partners had laid out a padded mat on the ground in case she lost her grip. Pontbriand did not identify the climber, but said she is 19 years old and lives in Bar Harbor.

“She sort of fell on the pad but her ankle didn’t,” Pontbriand said. “She couldn’t walk out.”

Her friends called 911 and the park quickly had people on the scene to help. Fourteen park staffers helped stabilize her ankle and then carried her in a litter to the Park Loop Road, which was only a short distance away.

Pontbriand said the woman was in an ambulance headed to get checked out at Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor about 15 minutes after response personnel arrived at the scene.

Around the same time, rangers were notified of a possible suicidal man in the area of the Beehive and Sand Beach, Pontbriand said. The man, who the ranger described only as being from out of state, had told relatives he planned to harm himself.

“His family was very worried about him,” Pontbriand said.

After relatives contacted the rangers, a search party went to that part of the park to look for the man and found him about two hours later, unharmed. Pontbriand said the man went with rangers and voluntarily admitted himself to Mount Desert Island Hospital for an evaluation.

Rangers also were called Thursday afternoon to a report of a possible break-in of a car at the Jordan Pond House. Pontbriand said nothing appeared to have been taken from the vehicle, which was parked in the restaurant’s front parking lot. Employees at the restaurant may have spooked the would-be thief away, he said.

The ranger said the incident is a reminder that park visitors need to be sure to take reasonable precautions in the park. Millions of people visit the park each summer and visitation is starting to pick up, he said.

“People need to keep their items out of view,” Pontbriand said.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/06/01/news/hancock/acadia-rangers-help-injured-climber-possibly-suicidal-man/ printed on July 29, 2014