Weather puts off search for snowmobilers again

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RANGELEY — The search for three missing snowmobilers presumed lost in Rangeley Lake will likely have to wait until next week, according to the Maine Warden Service.

Poor weather conditions, most notably frigid cold temperatures and high winds in the Rangeley area, have hampered search efforts since Tuesday, when the wardens found evidence that the three snowmobiles had broken through thin ice. Missing since Monday night are Kenneth Henderson, 40, of China; Glenn Henderson, 43, of Sabattus; and John Spencer, 41, of Litchfield. They were last seen leaving for a ride at about 6 p.m. New Year’s Eve in Carrabassett Valley.

Searchers believe the men perished in the lake based on finding two of the men’s helmets in an area where a fourth snowmobiler, Dawn Newell, 45, of Yarmouth, went through the ice on Monday. Her body was found later that day.

The use of side-scan sonar imagery on Thursday uncovered evidence of two snowmobiles at the bottom of the lake, and possibly a third.

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The feasibility of further recovery efforts will be evaluated in the coming days, according to a press release circulated late Friday. A spokesman for the Maine Warden Service could not be reached Saturday.

Exposed water on Rangeley Lake has since frozen over, but authorities said the ice there and most other waterways in Maine remains dangerously thin.

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