Rescued: Couple and 2 Kids Stranded on Moosehead Lake During Severe Snowstorm
A couple and two young children who got stranded out on the ice on Moosehead Lake during a severe snowstorm Tuesday night were rescued by the Maine Warden Service.
Wardens say 31-year-old Ruby Goodmen of Greenville, and 32-year-old Joseph Wentworth of Orland were ice fishing out on the lake with two children, ages two and five, and their dog, when the weather started to worsen. The two adults decided that Goodmen would head home on her snowmobile with the older child, who was already wet, and the dog, according to spokesman Mark Latti. Meanwhile Wentworth planned to gather up the fishing gear, then head back with his two-year-old on his sled.
Family separated and stranded on lake during worsening snowstorm
Very quickly, the storm got worse with heavy snow and strong winds. Goodmen’s snowmobile broke down before she could get home, Latti said. Due to whiteout conditions, Wentworth could not see well enough to drive and the blowing snow had already covered up existing snowmobile tracks. It was just after 9:00 p.m. when Goodmen and Wentworth both called 911 to report being stranded on the west side of the lake in the worsening storm.
Warden service trainees respond to distress calls on Moosehead Lake
Members of the Maine Advanced Warden School were training in the area Tuesday, and had ended their day when the call came in. Fortunately, about half of the trainees were staying at a camp nearby, Latti said.
Working with the Bangor Regional Communications Center, they were able to estimate the stranded party’s locations through GPS coordinates from the couple’s cellphones. Goodmen and the 5-year-old were about 800 yards from shore and Wentworth and the two-year-old were two miles out from them.
Two adults, two children rescued after being caught in nor'easter
Splitting into two groups, wardens and trainees were able to locate and transport everyone to shore within about 45 minutes. At the time they were found, both children were wet and shivering and wrapped in blankets.
The rescued group was transported back to the camp were everyone warmed up. Latti said the camp owner provided a vehicle for the couple, children, and dog to get home safely.