Search for missing snowmobilers to resume Thursday

Posted Jan. 02, 2013, at 11:50 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 02, 2013, at 8:45 p.m.

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RANGELEY, Maine — Search and recovery efforts for three snowmobilers who have been missing since Monday will resume on Thursday, according to game wardens.

Search efforts in Rangeley Lake were postponed Wednesday because of cold and windy weather, according to Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service.

“We wish we could be there in the water,” MacDonald said Wednesday morning. “It’s just too windy, too cold.”

MacDonald said recovery efforts will resume at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. A media briefing is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Winds in the Rangeley area were gusting to about 25 mph on Wednesday morning.

The three men — Kenneth Henderson, 40, of China; Glenn Henderson, 43, of Sabattus; and John Spencer, 41, of Litchfield — left Carrabassett Valley for a ride at about 6 p.m. Monday and have not been seen since.

MacDonald said earlier this week it’s possible the three men could have gone into Rangeley Lake. The body of another snowmobiler, Dawn Newell, 45, of Yarmouth, was recovered from the lake on Monday.

Two of the men’s helmets were recovered near an area where Newell’s machine broke through the ice.

Ice fishing season kicked off statewide on New Year’s Day, but game wardens are urging people to be cautious while heading out on the water.

Newell’s death marked Maine’s first snowmobile fatality of the 2012-13 season, compared with five during 2011-12.

The record was 16 in 2002-03, according to the Maine Warden Service. There were seven fatalities in 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06, six in 2006-07, 12 in 2007-08, eight in 2008-09, three in 2009-10 and four in 2010-11.

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