Search for missing snowmobiler continuing Sunday

Posted Jan. 02, 2010, at 1:01 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — The Maine Warden Service resumed its search Sunday for an 18-year-old snowmobiler from China not seen since Friday night.

Several snowmobile clubs and China residents joined in the search for Richard Jackson, a junior at Erskine Academy. Jackson was last seen on his black Yamaha snowmobile between 8 and 9 p.m. Friday after leaving Pinkham Fuel for his home.

It was unclear whether Jackson took snowmobile trails or attempted to cross China Lake, part of which is entirely free of ice.

The warden service was forced to suspend the search for Jackson on Saturday night due to the intense ocean storm that buffeted all of Maine with blinding snow and strong winds. On Sunday, wardens used a hovercraft to search ice- and snow-covered portions of the lake and boats on the water.

“We are not asking for any volunteers to go on the water to help search because the water is just too treacherous and dangerous right now,” Deborah Turcotte, spokesman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said Sunday afternoon.

Turcotte said the search would likely have to be suspended again after dark on Sunday due to dangerous conditions.

Anyone who may have seen Jackson after 9 p.m. Friday is asked to call the Maine State Police in Augusta at 624-7076.

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