Mount Lafayette as viewed from Franconia Ridge in New Hampshire. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

LINCOLN, New Hampshire — A family of ill-prepared hikers from Florida was rescued on Mount Lafayette this week, and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is recommending that they be billed for the “preventable rescue.”

A couple and their two children vastly underestimated the time needed to complete the Falling Waters-Old Bridle Path Loop and ended up in the dark without lights or water, officials said.

One of the family members was suffering from exhaustion when the couple dialed 911 late Monday, and other hikers were assisting by the time a conservation officer arrived with lights and water, the agency said. The group reached the trailhead at 2 a.m. Tuesday, the agency said.

The agency urged people enjoying the outdoors to be prepared. “The White Mountains are rugged and unforgiving,” the agency said.