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April 19, 2013

Daring rescue from waters of the Upper Saranac

(Continued)

‘GLAD TO BE WARM’

The call for rescue had come in to the State DEC’s dispatch center in Ray Brook at about 2:05 p.m. Wednesday.

DEC forest rangers Scott VanLaer and Lt. Julie Harjung, the Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad, the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department with its hovercraft and State Police responded.

They arrived to find the men on the ice near shore; Fire Chief Brendan Keough said the ambulances had to wait some distance away, as the spot was reached across private land with a number of gates blocking the way.

Sixteen volunteers turned out for the rescue, he said.

Fisher and Hyatt walked out; responders carried Duntley in a Stokes basket.

All three men were wrapped in hypothermic bags, DEC spokesman Dave Winchell said via email, and were taken by ambulance to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake.

After his discharge, Hyatt stopped to visit with Duntley and Fisher.

“I wanted to see them before I left. The older man was very tired, and you could tell they were just glad to be in the hospital and glad to be warm.”

Hospital spokesman Joe Riccio said all three were treated then released from AMC.

As for the heroic rescue effort he shared with Yoder, Hyatt said it was just instinct.

“We’re kind of remote — 15 miles from town, so seconds count out here,” he said. “... I couldn’t watch him just go under.”

Email Kim Smith Dedam: kdedam@pressrepublican.com

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