Wardens suspend search for missing snowmobilers in Rangeley

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RANGELEY — The Maine Warden Service suspended the search for three missing snowmobilers on Rangeley Lake late Tuesday morning due to hazardous weather conditions.

According to its statement, strong winds created white caps on the lake and the temperature was near 20 degrees. Weather conditions were assessed throughout the day for the possibility of resuming search with airboats, aircraft and side scan sonar.

The three missing men are Kenneth Henderson, 40, of China, Glenn Henderson, 43, of Sabattus, and John Spencer, 41, of Litchfield. According Warden Service Cpl. John MacDonald, a witness said the Hendersons are cousins.

The search for the men began after the Warden Service received a call at about 2:20 a.m. Monday that the three had left Carrabassett Valley at about 6 p.m. Sunday and not returned. The search was started in the area but soon suspended because of frigid temperatures and high winds, MacDonald said.

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On Monday, as wardens searched for the body of snowmobiler Dawn Newell, 45, of Yarmouth, who went through thin ice on Rangeley Lake on Sunday evening, they recovered helmets belonging to the missing snowmobilers, suggesting the men had crashed through ice on another part of the lake, according to a Warden Service spokesman.

Newell’s body was found at about 11:30 a.m. Monday. She had been snowmobiling with her 16-year-old son from Durham, MacDonald said. The teen was riding behind her and was able to get to shore and call for help.

Rangeley Lake is 8 miles long, covers 6,300 acres and has an average depth of 60 feet.

The Rangeley Police Department and Fire and Rescue and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office are assisting with search efforts.

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