Coast Guard, Michigan DNR rescue two hunters

MANISTIQUE, Mich. – The U.S. Coast Guard and the Mich. Department of Natural Resources rescued two lost hunters, Wednesday, in the Seney National Refuge.

Their coordinated effort found the hunters cold but in good condition.

The Coast Guard received a call, at approximately 10 p.m. Tuesday night, for assistance from MDNR as ground parties continued to search for the missing hunters into the night. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., deployed an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter with night-vision goggles to assist MDNR in the search.

After searching for nearly an hour over the heavily-wooded area in poor weather conditions, a helicopter crew member spotted a campfire made by the missing hunters. The helicopter crew directed the ground team to the hunters’ location where they were then recovered safely.

Like every year, this hunting season will usher in unforgiving weather, including colder temperatures and freezing precipitation. Conditions can change dramatically in a very short period of time. Hunters should exercise proper judgment and be in good physical health if heading out into the wilderness and weather. They should leave a detailed hunting plan with family or friends with an expected return time, and they should always hunt with a partner or in a group. Be well prepared by having a detailed map of the area and a means of communication like a cellular phone or 2-way radio, and carry a box of matches, a lighter, a flashlight, or other fire making/signaling devices.

Detecting a missing person on the ground can be quite difficult even for an aircraft flying overhead. To better the chance of detection by rescuers, the following survival equipment is strongly recommended:

  • 2-Way VHF-FM radio and/or cell phone
  • Cold weather survival gear and clothing
  • Matches, lighter, or other fire-making device
  • Handheld GPS (Global Positioning System) and current map of the area
  • Bright, reflective clothing, flashlight, strobe light, or other light-producing signaling device

The Coast Guard urges all hunters to take a hunting safety course and to always dress and prepare for emergency situations that could arise unexpectedly.

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