Three snowmobilers survived Christmas night outside in below zero temperatures without emergency supplies in a scenario a Maine Warden Service rep notes "could have turned out much worse." Dorothy Gould, Valerie Morrow, and Alice Meadow—who'd been camping near Millinocket, Maine—were snowmobiling toward Kokadjo on Sunday evening when two of their snowmobiles got stuck, Cpl. John MacDonald says, per the Portland Press Herald. Gould, 62, then went in search of help but became lost and ran out of gas. An "intense search" involving 12 game wardens and two aircraft was launched after the women were reported missing around 2:30am Monday. Morrow and Meadow, both in their 50s, were later found "cold and hungry" but safe on a trail.
Meanwhile, wardens grew increasingly concerned about Gould, particularly as there was open water and thin ice in the area. Gould, however, ended up near a campground in Baxter State Park, more than 40 miles from camp, where she was able to get into a cabin and build a fire. She stayed the night before encountering snowmobilers who gave her gas on Monday morning and met up with game wardens in Millinocket around noon, reports the Bangor Daily News. While the three women are lucky to have survived this "very dangerous" incident, "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," MacDonald says.