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N.H. Sees Rise in Wilderness Rescue Missions

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Late Thursday night, New Hampshire Fish and Game Officials rescued a 53-year-old man on Mount Lincoln after they’d been searching for him for 3 days.

We’ve been seeing a number of stories like that lately, and state officials have confirmed it: wilderness rescue missions this year in New Hampshire are higher than normal. And the two busiest months are yet to come.

On average New Hampshire Fish and Game makes 180 rescues a year, throughout the state. The majority of those missions involve hikers.

May has only just begun, but the state is already close to hitting that mark.

Colonel Kevin Jordan says the uptick has a lot to do with the weather. “When we have an extreme winter or more of a New Hampshire winter that creates more havoc in the mountains when people are hiking," Jordan said. "We had some rescue missions on the lakes this year due to thin ice that you wouldn’t have in an average winter. This year was a little weird on the temperatures – it was warm for most of the winter and then it got cold really fast but it wasn’t for a long time."

Jordan advises hikers to prepare for possible shifts in weather as well as make sure to bring flashlights and plenty of water.

Last year there were 173 wilderness rescues in New Hampshire. The previous year it was 164.

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