DNR officers credited with saving stranded snowmobilers in Ontonagon County

Feb 11, 2019

WHITE PINE, MI--   Two Department of Natural Resources conservation officers helped rescue four stranded snowmobilers from the woods of Ontonagon County on Saturday. 

Conservation Officers Hanson (l) and Painter (r)

COs Jenni Hanson and Zach Painter were policing careless snowmobiling near Bergland that day with a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer when they were notified four people were separated from their larger group and were stranded on the Big Iron River south of White Pine. The snowmobilers from Minnesota had illegally driven up the river to do some backcountry off-trail riding, and the four were stuck in the slush in the middle of the river.

Hanson and Painter traveled to a bridge so they could access the river and snowshoe to the snowmobilers from the south. About three miles from the bridge they met the four riders, who were walking downstream. The riders said they’d been walking for three hours.

Two of the snowmobilers had mild hypothermia. No other injuries were reported.

The group was issued a ticket for riding in an area closed by the Forest Service for sledding.