Sunday was a day that five snowmobilers from out of state will never forget after getting lost near Lake Dinah near Seeley Lake.

Public Information Officer with the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, Brenda Bassett described what happened.

“It was a long night for Search and Rescue crews as five snowmobilers got lost in the Dinah Lake area,” said Bassett. “The Seeley Lake volunteer Search and Rescue crews deployed Two Bear Air, but they had to turn around due to the weather conditions. Then, our first ground crew was forced to do the same due to the fact that there was five feet of new snowfall with no base so they couldn’t get through.”

Bassett explained how the rescue finally occurred.

“Eventually they were able to send in an expert rider and he helped them build a pathway out for all their snowmobiles,” she said. “One of their machines ended up sinking into the lake and the rider ended up having to swim, however the crew he was with was able to somehow get that snowmobile out of the water. The temperatures and the drifting snow and the fact that they were in the water means they’re very, very lucky to be alive.”

Bassett said the western Montana area is fortunate to have such expertise at hand in case of emergencies.

“Missoula County and western Montana are so fortunate to have assets like Two Bear Air (out of Whitefish) and we have two awesome volunteer Search and Rescue teams that do tons of training throughout the year,” she said. “The five snowmobilers were from out of state and they were completely lost, so they didn’t know how to get out of the area. They were very fortunate to be able to build a fire to dry off and keep warm until help arrived.”

The rescued snowmobilers were not identified and no medical attention was required.

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