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Michigan DNR Park Rangers Rescue Lost Snowmobilers

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Michigan’s cold, snowy winters have proven to be dangerous for many.

That includes a couple of snowmobilers who were rescued this week.

The snowmobilers were missing near Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park for more than 24 hours during blizzard weather conditions.

They were rescued Monday afternoon by a team of Michigan Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation staff working in conjunction with local, state and federal agencies.

The pair became stranded after their snowmobiles broke through the ice on the Little Iron River Sunday afternoon. Although the area does not receive reliable cell phone coverage, the Jenneys were able to send several text messages to family relaying their situation.

Using geo-location data from the text messages, a four-square-mile area where the Jenneys were last known to be was identified.

Due to the deep snow and open water, search efforts were conducted on snowshoe instead of snowmobile.

Around 2:00 pm on Monday, after snowshoeing through blinding snow, wind chills of 40 degrees below zero, and snow depths in excess of four feet for several hours, DNR Parks and Recreation district supervisor Bill Doan and park rangers Jimmy Newkirk, David Merk and Emily Pleiness successfully located Benjamin M. Jenney Sr. and Benjamin M. Jenney Jr., a father and son from Albertville, Minn., approximately 2 miles from the nearest road.

The Jenneys, who were suffering from frostbite, hypothermia and dehydration, were helped to nearby snowmobiles and transported to an area accessible by ambulance.

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