Teen snowmobilers rescued after frigid night in Maine woods

AP News
Posted: Feb 17, 2015 7:00 PM

MEXICO, Maine (AP) — Two 15-year-old Rhode Island boys will return from their winter vacation with a story to tell after spending a night in below-zero temperatures when their snowmobile got stuck in the woods in Maine.

Ty Howard-Gotto and his friend Jonah May, both of North Smithfield, had tried unsuccessfully to start a fire late Monday when May saw a shooting star, made a wish and suggested they continue walking. Then they found a shed that might have saved their lives, Howard-Gotto said Tuesday after they were found unharmed.

They used plywood and gasoline from the boarded-up structure to start a fire to warm up then spent part of the evening wrapped in tarps and resting in a motorized cart inside the structure, he said.

The temperature dipped to 9 degrees below zero in the region, and the wind made it feel like 25 below. At first daylight, they began walking again and were picked up at 10 a.m. Tuesday by a passer-by, wardens said.

Wardens launched a search after the pair failed to arrive at a camp owned by Howard-Gotto's grandfather Monday night in Andover.

Howard-Gotto said he made a wrong turn after departing from the nearby town of Mexico, then got stuck in deep snow.

But he said he'd lived in the area before moving to Rhode Island and was confident they would be OK.

"I wasn't worried too much," Howard-Gotto said.