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Some stranded hikers rescued by NH Fish & Game not so thankful after the bill
Sunburned and tired, Scott Mason hugged his father, Michael, moments after he was brought off Mount Washington following a rescue effort that spanned several days. (Lorna Colquhoun File)
Wearing his prosthetic leg, Southern NH Montessori Academy teacher James Osborne rides his bicycle to school almost every day. Osborne lost his right leg and part of his left foot to frostbite during an ill-fated hiking trip in Franconia State Park five years ago. (COURTESY)
Safe hike tips1: The days are shorter this time of year. Plan ahead and bring a flashlight just in case you are caught out after dark.
2: Look at the weather forecast. If impending bad weather is predicted, dress accordingly — or reconsider your plans.
3: Stay together. Many of our searches are a result of hikers not staying with the group or adults not watching the children. This is also true for caregivers of the elderly or a person with special needs.
4: Review the hiker responsibility code — and the 10 essentials to have in your pack — at hikesafe.com.
Source: New Hampshire Fish and Game Department
About half of the $100,725 billed in fiscal years 2007 to 2011 has been collected, said state Fish and Game Col. Martin Garabedian.
"It's a huge administrative nightmare. We spend lot of time trying to find these people and collect," Garabedian said.
The hiker can challenge the finding, and the process can lead to court, he said.
The department conducted 957 search-and-rescue missions, costing about $1.8 million, from fiscal years 2006 to 2011, according to its website.
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