Two stranded snowmobilers who spent an unexpected night outdoors in subzero temperatures were found safe Monday after their machines got stuck during a Christmas Day run near Penobscot Pond in northern Maine, authorities said.

A third snowmobiler went for help, but she ran out of gas and wound up spending the night in a stranger’s cabin, according to Cpl. John MacDonald, spokesman for the Maine Warden Service.

The warden service launched an “intense search” to find the three women after getting a call they were missing about 2:30 a.m. Monday, MacDonald said in a news release.

“This incident was very dangerous and could have turned out much worse,” MacDonald said.

The weather and the thin ice and open water in the area were “of high concern” to the game wardens who launched the overnight search, which included more than a dozen wardens and two planes.

Dorothy Gould of Glenburn, Valerie Morrow of Garland and Alice Meadow of Texas were staying at a camp on Smith Pond, west of Millinocket in Township T3-Indian Purchase. They were snowmobiling toward Kokadjo when two snowmobiles got stuck near Penobscot Pond in T1R11 between Millinocket and Kokadjo.

Gould, 62, went to get help but got lost and ran out of gas at the north end of Baxter State Park near Nesowadnehunk Field Campground.

She managed to enter a cabin and make a fire, spending the night.

In the morning, some snowmobilers gave her gas and she followed them back toward Millinocket, where she met game wardens about noon.

Game wardens had already found Meadow and Morrow, both in their 50s, beside the snowmobile trail and taken them to Kokadjo, “as they were cold and hungry from spending a night outdoors,” MacDonald said.

He said the women didn’t have extra gas or emergency supplies.

“It is critical to be prepared for an unexpected stay in the woods and those who snowmobile are reminded to bring a communication device, area trail maps and a means to start a fire,” MacDonald said in the news release.

“Please use good judgment and common sense and be prepared when snowmobiling, especially in remote areas of Maine.”

 


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