Body of Yarmouth woman recovered from Rangeley Lake; 3 Maine snowmobilers missing

Game wardens search Rangeley Lake for a woman whose snowmobile fell through thin ice on Sunday.
Maine Warden Service
Game wardens search Rangeley Lake for a woman whose snowmobile fell through thin ice on Sunday.
By Andrew Neff, BDN Staff
Posted Dec. 31, 2012, at 9:12 a.m.

RANGELEY, Maine — Maine game wardens on Monday recovered the body of a 45-year-old Yarmouth woman who went through the ice Sunday night on a snowmobile she was riding on Rangeley Lake.

Maine Warden Service Cpl. John MacDonald said in a press release that wardens are also investigating the disappearance of three Maine snowmobilers in the Carrabassett Valley area who were last seen in Eustis early Sunday night.

Dawn Newell, 45, of Yarmouth and her 16-year-old son from Durham were riding on separate snowmobiles Sunday when her snowmobile broke through the ice and into open water around 7 p.m., MacDonald said. Her son’s snowmobile also began to break through the ice, but he was able to jump to a more solid piece of ice and get to shore to call 911.

Newell never resurfaced after she and her snowmobile went under water.

MacDonald said wardens recovered Newell’s body at approximately 11:30 a.m. Monday, thanks to the combined efforts of the Maine Warden Service dive team, aircraft crews and fire and rescue personnel from the town of Rangeley.

Meanwhile, wardens continued to search Monday for three male snowmobilers who left Carrabassett Valley around 6 p.m. Sunday and were last seen in Eustis.

The three missing men are Kenneth Henderson, 40, of China; Glenn Henderson, 43, of Sabattus; and John Spencer, 41, of Litchfield.

Wardens received a call at 2:30 a.m. Monday that none of the three had returned. A search was begun in the area and “several pieces of evidence were recovered” indicating all three may have gone into Rangeley Lake as well, MacDonald said.

Two helmets were recovered among the evidence found in an area less than a mile from the spot where the Yarmouth woman went through the ice, said Doug Rafferty, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The search was suspended Monday evening, but wardens will resume search efforts Tuesday morning with airboats, side-scanning sonar and aircraft, MacDonald said.

Rafferty said conditions on Sunday were “bad enough with the high winds, but with all the snow, there were near whiteout conditions at times.”

A press conference will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Rangeley Lake public boat launch off Route 4 in downtown Rangeley.

With the first day of ice fishing season beginning Tuesday, the Maine Warden Service said everyone should “use extreme caution when accessing lakes and ponds either by foot or recreational vehicle. Ice conditions remain very hazardous.”

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/12/31/news/lewiston-auburn/woman-missing-after-snowmobile-falls-through-ice-on-rangeley-lake/ printed on December 19, 2014