Three women who became separated while snowmobiling in northern Maine on Christmas night have been located safe and sound after an intensive overnight search.

Maine Warden Service

The Maine Warden Service said 62-year-old Dorothy Gould of Glenburn, Valerie Morrow of Garland and Alice Meadow of Texas (both in their 50’s) were staying at a camp on Smith Pond west of Millinocket in Township T3-Indian Purchase. The three women went snowmobiling Sunday evening and were headed toward Kokadjo when they became stuck near Penobscot Pond between Millinocket and Kokadjo.

Dorothy Gould left her two friends on snowmobile to find help when she became lost. Wardens say Gould made her way to the north end of Baxter State Park where she ran out of gas near Nesowadnehunk Field Campground. None of the women had extra gas or emergency supplies with them.

Game wardens were called around 2:30 Monday morning and began an intensive search, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. With temperatures dropping below zero overnight and some thin ice in the area, game wardens were very concerned for the women’s safety.

Late Sunday evening, Gould made her way to a cabin near Nesowadnehunk Field where she was able to enter and make a fire. Gould stayed the night in the cabin and was met in the morning by snowmobilers travelling in the area. The snowmobilers provided her with gas and she followed them back towards Millinocket where she met with game wardens around noon on Monday.

Meanwhile, wardens found Meadow and Morrow stranded beside the snowmobile trail. The women were taken to Kokadjo as they were cold and hungry from spending a night outdoors.

Over a dozen Maine game wardens and two Warden Service aircraft were involved in this overnight search effort. The Maine Warden Service recognizes that this incident was very dangerous and could have turned out much worse. It is critical to be prepared for an unexpected stay in the woods and those who snowmobile are reminded to bring a communication device, area trail maps and a means to start a fire.

ABOVE PHOTO: Two Warden Service aircraft are shown staged at Millinocket Airport for this search effort.