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Ohio Hiker Won't be Charged for Baxter Rescue
06/08/2010 12:25 PM ET  

Officials say Michael Hays, 41, who was lost in Baxter State Park for three days, made one bad choice, but appeared to be an experienced hiker who was properly equipped.

An Ohio man who got lost in Maine's Baxter State Park over Memorial Day weekend will not have to pay the costs of his rescue. That's according to park Director Jensen Bissell, who told the Bangor Daily News that such cases are determined on an individual basis. "It's just a matter of determining what's reckless," he told the paper.

Michael Hays, 41, left a trail on Mt. Katahdin in search of a shortcut when he became lost. During the three-day ordeal, Hays injured his knee, but he eventually managed to find his way to a clearing where he was spotted by a rescue helicopter.

Hays disappearance set off the longest Baxter search in more than 40 years. Park officials say Hays appeared to be an experienced hiker who was properly equipped. Despite his bad decision to leave the trail, officials say Hays made several other smart choices that helped save his life.



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