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Six Vermont hikers helped from trail
FRANCONIA — Six people from Vermont, including four children, weren't prepared for hiking and needed assistance to get to safety, according to state Fish and Game.
Josie Rogers and Christopher Kangas of St. Johnsbury, Vt., and four kids, ages 2, 5, 6 and 8, were lost on the Falling Waters Trail, near the summit of Little Haystack Mountain, on Friday night.
A Fish and Game conservation officer gave verbal instructions to help the group down the trail, but the group went the wrong way, prolonging the rescue effort. The hikers were having difficulty navigating the terrain due to not having appropriate gear, using a single cellular phone to illuminate the trail. The group also didn't have any navigational tools or the appropriate clothing/equipment for the conditions.
Passerby hikers from Massachusetts assisted the group by dividing personal equipment and food among members. Conservation officers reached the group and provided additional food/water and equipment to the group and began to descend the trail.
Trail conditions were very wet due to recent rain, which made maneuvering the trail difficult.
Conservation officers and the passerby hikers each helped carry the children in the group, reaching the trailhead about 4:30 a.m. Saturday.
Fish and Game reminded hikers to pack appropriate clothing and equipment. Hikes often take longer than anticipated and weather is unpredictable, so having appropriate gear aids in safety.
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