PRIEST LAKE — A snowmobiler who got lost in the mountains north of Priest Lake was found at 1 a.m. Sunday morning cold but uninjured.
Priest Lake Search and Rescue units were called out late Saturday evening to search for the man after he was reported missing by his partner. The two men had stopped their snowmobiles and the missing man had walked ahead to find a place to turn around, but never returned. Family members and others searched the area but could not find any sign of the missing man.
Two Bear Air Rescue out of Kalispell, Mont., was called in to assist in the search. After arriving in the area, Two Bear Air Rescue crew searched the area with a thermal imaging camera, and spotted foot prints leading down the trail away from where the man’s snowmobile was parked. They followed the footprints and found the man standing in deep snow nearly a mile from where he was last seen.
“It was a great mission,” Jim Pierce Chief Pilot of Two Bear Air Rescue stated. “It was cold and the snow was deep, so the risk of hypothermia after being out there for that long was very concerning.” Two Bear Air Rescue hoisted the man to safety in the helicopter and then transported him to waiting medical crew at Cavanaugh Bay.
What was noteworthy on this mission, is the fact that the EMT/Rescue Specialist who was hoisted down to extract the man, was Philanthropist Michael Goguen who is the Benefactor of Two Bear Air Rescue. Goguen has been a Rescue Specialist on multiple missions and this is his 5th Hoist Rescue since he finished his training in May of 2016. “These are the moments that make the program feel worth it” Goguen said after the rescue. The Rescue Specialists, including Mr. Goguen, each work approximately 10 shifts per month which are 12 hours long.
“Mike is an integral part of our crew. Not only does he fund the program but he also is willing to risk his life to save others,” Pierce stated. “Now that is a perfect example of actions speaking louder than words……or money.”
Uniquely, there is no cost to anyone besides Mr. Goguen for any services provided by Two Bear Air Rescue.
Watch the rescue yourself at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7V9T9rWpyg.