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2 snowmobilers recall being stranded in Mich.

  • Associated Press
  • January 30, 2014 - 10:10 AM

ONTONAGON, Mich. — A Minnesota father and his adult son said they walked in waist-deep snow to stay warm when they were stranded overnight in a blizzard and sub-zero temperatures while snowmobiling in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Searchers found 40-year-old Benjamin Jenney Sr. and 19-year-old Benjamin Jenney Jr. on Monday afternoon in Ontonagon County, Michigan State Police said. The site is near the Porcupine Mountains State Park and the Jenneys had no survival gear.

The Albertville, Minn., men had been at their family cabin in the area, and they had planned a typical weekend of snowmobiling. They told WLUC-TV (http://bit.ly/1ea0FIu ) that they decided to snowmobile off a trail, however, and got stuck.

"It was pretty nasty, lots of water, and we were trying to find a way out, and the banks were too high and we couldn't really find a safe way out," said Benjamin Jenney Jr., known as "B.J."

They texted an uncle Sunday evening to say they were stuck in the woods and again a few hours later to say they were trying to walk out. They had soaked clothes, and said they only slept for a few minutes at a time.

"I was obviously scared, but I don't recall showing any emotion the whole time," said Benjamin Jenney Sr. "I just tried to bury what I was thinking. I didn't want him to know what I was thinking.

"But I didn't think we would make it through the night."

They tried to follow a river on foot toward Lake Superior. Meanwhile, authorities got word that they were stranded and rescue efforts began.

"It was definitely very scary, especially at night when you can't see very far, you don't know what animals are out there, you're hearing trees and stuff cracking all the time," Benjamin Jenney Jr. said.

A team of state Department of Natural Resources staff spotted the Jenneys about two miles inland from Lake Superior.

They had symptoms of hypothermia and dehydration, but were reported to be in overall good condition. Benjamin Jenney Sr. had some muscle tissue damage in his legs and his son had minor frostbite on his toes.

© 2014 Star Tribune