Two snowmobilers, missing in the backcountry near Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park for more than 24 hours during blizzard weather conditions, 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.
At approximately 2 p.m. 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 by Michigan State Police and local volunteers to an area accessible by ambulance.
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 attached to the text messages, Michigan State Police and the Civil Air Patrol identified a remote four-square-mile area where the Jenneys were last known to be, allowing the DNR ranger team to begin a coordinated search and rescue effort along the Little Iron River corridor Monday morning.