Lost snowmobilers found safe

SILVER CITY – Two Minnesota snowmobilers missing since Sunday in Ontonagon County were found safe and in good health Monday by members of a multi-agency search team.

Michigan State Police at the Wakefield post report Benjamin Jenney, 40, and his son, Benjamin Jenney Jr., 17, both of Albertville, Minn., were snowmobiling and became lost near Silver City in Ontonagon County.

The Jenneys were last seen leaving a restaurant and heading onto snowmobile trails at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday. The two sent text messages saying they were stuck in the woods at about 5:30 p.m. Three hours later, a final text message was received indicating the Jenneys were walking, attempting to get out of the woods, police said.

Police said the two snowmobilers had no survival gear or additional communication devices.

Troopers coordinated volunteer snowmobile search efforts until 1 a.m. Monday, when weather conditions and darkness halted the search. Police said blizzard conditions were occurring with wind chill readings dropping to 25 degrees below zero and snow on the ground at least 4 to 5 feet deep.

Police said they set up an incident command center at the AmericInn in Silver City.

At daylight Monday, the search resumed with several groups of snowmobilers from various agencies entering the area under blizzard conditions. Police said severe weather prevented an air search throughout the day.

The Jenneys were found after six hours of searching. They were in good health except for hypothermic and dehydration symptoms, police said. They were taken to Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital for treatment by Sonco Ambulance.

State police were assisted in the search by the Ontonagon County emergency manager, Michigan Department of Natural Resources park personnel and conservation officers, the Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Division, the Ontonagon County Emergency Response Team, the Michigan Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Air Force Search and Rescue coordination, U.S. Coast Guard, Sled Necks of Wisconsin and numerous volunteers.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.