Deaf snowmobiler found safe in Marinette County

Thumbnail for Feb. 15, 2014 lost snowmobiler story
Thumbnail for Feb. 15, 2014 lost snowmobiler story

MARINETTE COUNTY- A snowmobiler, who's also hearing impaired, was lost for more than seven hours on a Marinette County snowmobile trail.

"When we found him, he was walking down the snowmobile trail," said Dave Oginski, DNR conservation warden.

A relief for Oginski - who had been searching for hours.

"They were hearing impaired so that made things a little bit more difficult to try to figure out where folks were at," Oginski said.

Oginski says Friday night three snowmobilers, including a husband and wife who are deaf, were riding in northern Marinette County.

The husband ran out of gas. He and his wife stayed behind, while their friend went to find fuel.

"…and then when he didn't come back another party left and it was kind of a big confusing scene as far as trying to figure out what exactly was going on," Oginski said.

The man's wife and friend couldn't find their way back and had no way of reaching him. Oginski says the snowmobiler didn't have a cell phone. Eventually, a search began.

"With the cold temperatures that there were, thankfully he had kept moving and kept the blood flowing and was able to keep himself warm. I got him on my snowmobile," Oginski said.

The DNR says while out on the trails it's important to travel in groups, stay on marked trails and make sure you have a cell phone or GPS.

You should also carry a first aid kit. It should have a flash light, a compass and a map.

Brian Stark always carries a map while snowmobiling.

"We go over the trail map before we head out. We kind of have a general plan, make a routine so we kind of know the general direction of where we're going," said Stark.

Russ Peters owns a sled shop in Sobieski. He also has some tips for snowmobilers.

"Make sure you have a spare belt along. That's one critical thing that you should have on a snowmobile because if they blow…there's a place on all snowmobiles to have a spare belt," said Peters.

Peters says preparing ahead will help sledders stay safe.