Two hikers with special needs found safe after going missing in the Catskills

ByMarcus Solis and Eyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, August 18, 2023
Two hikers found safe after going missing in the Catskills
Two hikers that went missing in the Catskills on Thursday were located after a massive search on Friday. Reporter Marcus Solis has the latest.

ULSTER COUNTY, New York (WABC) -- Two lost hikers with special needs were located Friday after going missing in the Catskills.

The two were separated from their hiking group on Thursday afternoon, which prompted an extensive search through the mountain terrain of Sam's Point and Ice Cave Mountain.

One of the hikers is 18 and the other is in his 20s.

"This was a very fortunate situation that could have been a disaster and it could have ended very tragically," said Rabbi Abe Friedman with the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.

They were part of a group of 16 hikers and four counselors from a camp in South Fallsburg.

Dozens of highly trained search and rescue volunteers jumped into action to search for them, even during an intense thunderstorm in the area.

State police, park rangers and members of the Orthodox Jewish community used ATVs, infrared drones and search equipment to find them.

"Slippery rocks, you have to be careful with that and up there, there's a lot of patches with leaves which seems like solid ground, but you step on it and it's between two rocks," said Joseph Rosenberg with Matzil Search and Rescue.

The search was suspended at 4 a.m. but resumed again later Friday morning.

Around 10:30 a.m., searchers from Chaverim of Rockland County spotted one of the hikers and the other was about 50 feet away.

"He said come take me out, get me out of here, that's what he was saying," said Yoel Loeffler with Chaverim Rockland County.

The hikers were dehydrated and slightly injured, but otherwise OK.

It is unclear how the hikers spent the night while separated from the group.

ALSO READ | Experts provide tips on fighting spotted lanternflies in NYC this fall

Officials say that if the spotted lanternfly isn't controlled, it could cost the New York economy $300 million a year. Dani Beckstrom has more on what you can do to help out.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* Follow us on YouTube

* More local news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.