Five snowmobilers were rescued early Monday after one of the group fell through thin ice on a remote Montana lake, forcing them to build a fire to keep warm and survive while they waited for help, officials said. The riders were on Dinah Lake in the Lolo National Forest near the Mission Mountains in western Montana, reports ABC.
One rider lost his machine through the ice forcing him to swim to shore, according to the sheriff’s office. The rest of the group got wet trying to recover the snowmobile from the water.
“During the night, they were able to build a small fire which likely helped them survive the cold,” the sheriff’s office statement said. “However, they were not prepared with supplies for an overnight stay.”
Seeley-Swan Search and Rescue Team took roughly nine hours to reach the snowmobilers during an overnight snowstorm, according to Missoula County Sheriff’s officials. Thankfully none of the group required medical attention.
The weather meant a helicopter couldn’t get airborne, and about 5 feet of snow that had recently fallen slowed the ground search, the sheriff’s office said in a statement on Facebook. Sheriff’s officials responded to the call at 5 pm, Sunday and the group were reached at about 2 am.
Sheriff’s officials identified the snowmobilers only as being from out of state.