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January 3, 2013
Rangeley Recovery Update
Rangeley, Maine - Today, the Maine Warden Service began recovery operations for the three missing snowmobilers presumed to be in Rangeley Lake. After early morning winds subsided, airboats were able to tow Warden Service watercraft across the ice to open water. The open water is approximately ½ mile from shore in front of the Rangeley public boat launch.
Sonar was used to scan the lake bottom for approximately 2 hours this afternoon before equipment became inoperable due to weather. Sonar images indicated items of interest which will be investigated further as weather permits. Weather forecasts indicate high winds will resume for the next several days in the Rangeley Lake region. Therefore, the Maine Warden Service anticipates further recovery efforts to be on hold until early next week.
CAUTION STATEMENT: The Maine Warden Service reminds snowmobilers that lakes and ponds in Maine are not safe for travel. While conducting today’s operations, game wardens found ice conditions on Rangeley Lake to be very hazardous. Ice thickness near todays search area was found to be only 3 to 4 inches thick. Due to today’s airboat traffic on Rangeley Lake, ice conditions surrounding the open water were weakened further. DO NOT attempt to inspect the incident location in person. Travel on the lake for any purpose should be avoided.
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