IRON COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — Two snowmobilers lost in the Yankee Meadow area were rescued in the middle of the night on Feb. 7 after getting lost in the darkness and the fog, Iron County Search and Rescue (ICSSAR) reported.
According to ICSSAR’s social media post; the two riders, a man and a woman, were snowmobiling in an unfamiliar area when the darkness and fog set in, making it impossible to follow their tracks back to their truck. They were able to call family for help before their cell phones died.
The couple prepared for a cold, long night by finding shelter under a tree and starting a fire. The pair were prepared with flashlights, food, water, fire starters, and a space blanket, according to ICSSAR. They started the fire using gasoline from the snowmobile as fuel and pouring it into the top of a cut-off water bottle.
The Search & Rescue team was alerted at midnight of the lost individuals and used the last GPS locator from their cell phones to track them to Panguitch Lake. When authorities could not find them near the lake, they expanded their search locating the individuals 3.5 miles away around 3:00 a.m, according to officials.
The two individuals heard the rescue team’s snowmobiles and flagged them down with their flashlights. The rescue team, comprised entirely of volunteers, returned to their homes around 4:00 a.m. Many of the volunteers went to their day jobs on only a few, if any, hours of sleep, the post read.
“We are extremely grateful to have a fortunate outcome in this search. The individuals were well prepared for their adventure but as you read, they became quickly disorientated due to the darkness and fog,” ICSSAR wrote.”We can’t emphasize enough the importance to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return home.”
The ICSSAR reminded the public of the importance of bringing a satellite device if you are recreating in a place without cell phone service.
“Had these individuals not had cell phone coverage to notify someone of their situation, there could have been a different outcome,” the post read.