Game wardens performed a daring rescue Wednesday afternoon in Down East Maine, carrying an injured hiker down a mountain on their backs just before severe thunderstorms rolled into the region.

In a news release Thursday, Mark Latti, spokesman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said Game Wardens Camden Akins and John Carter responded to a distress call around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday saying that two female hikers were stranded on top of Black Mountain due to medical issues. Black Mountain is located on the Schoodic Peninsula near Gouldsboro and Sullivan in Hancock County.

Akins and Carter climbed up the mountain and located the women, who were identified as Holly Gichel, 41, and Robin Sturtevant, 49, both of Augusta. Latti said the wardens realized the women needed more attention than their 911 call indicated and called for backup.

But thunderstorms were rapidly approaching and the wardens realized they needed to get off the mountain as quickly as possible. Sturtevant’s condition worsened and she became semiconscious, Latti said. Akins and Carter took turns carrying Sturtevant down the mountain on their backs while it started to pour.

Game Warden Sgt. Ralph Hosford and emergency rescue personnel from Sullivan and Gouldsboro responded to the scene. They carried a litter down the Schoodic Beach Trail to meet the wardens and placed Sturtevant on it before taking her to an ambulance.

She was transported to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth, arriving at 7:30 p.m., about the same time that a severe thunder and lightning storm struck the region. Latti said Sturtevant was treated and released.

Maine Trail Finder describes the trails on Black Mountain, which is just over 1,000 feet, as moderate to advanced, offering scenic views of Donnell Pond and Tunk Lake. There are open ledges that provide vistas across the 15,000-acre Donnell Pond Public Lands.

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