Wardens rescue two hikers on Black Mountain

TOWNSHIP 10 — Maine game wardens rescued two hikers on Black Mountain Wednesday afternoon, taking turns carrying one of them down the mountain on their backs, and barely getting both down before severe thunderstorms hit the area.

The stranded hikers called 911 at about 3:30 p.m. July 8 seeking help and medical assistance.

Game wardens Camden Akins and John Carter received a call that Holly Gichel, 41, and Robin Sturtevant, 49, both of Augusta, were stranded on the top of Black Mountain and needed assistance due to medical issues.

Akins and Carter hiked up the mountain. Upon reaching Gichel and Sturtevant, the wardens “realized they needed more attention than reported,” according to a press release. “They immediately called for more assistance, and knew they had to hike down quickly.”

With thunderstorms approaching, the four of them started down the mountain. During the descent, Sturtevant’s condition worsened and she became semi-conscious. Hearing thunder in the distance and recognizing the hiker needed medical attention as soon as possible, Akins and Carter alternated carrying Sturtevant down the mountain on their backs through the pouring rain.

While the wardens and ill hikers were making their way down the mountain, Game Warden Sgt. Ralph Hosford and emergency rescue personnel from the Sullivan and Gouldsboro fire departments carried a stokes litter down the Schoodic Beach Trail to meet them. Once the groups converged, the ill hiker was placed in the stokes litter, evaluated, carried to the ambulance and then taken by ambulance to Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital in Ellsworth at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, just as the severe thunder and lightning started.