EDITORIAL

Miracle at Sugarloaf

Posted March 08, 2013, at 1:15 p.m.
Nicholas Joy, 17, of Medford, Mass., was found two days after being reported missing from Sugarloaf Mountain.
Maine Warden Service
Nicholas Joy, 17, of Medford, Mass., was found two days after being reported missing from Sugarloaf Mountain.

Maine got great news Tuesday when a teenage skier was found alive after having been missing on Sugarloaf for two nights in 20-degree temperatures. Let’s celebrate what went right.

First, people came together to rescue Nicholas Joy, 17, of Medford, Mass. Ten wardens and 25 volunteers searched on Monday. On Tuesday, 85 people gathered to look for him, including wardens, Navy SEALs, Marines, ski patrol volunteers, students from Carrabassett Valley and members of the Maine Association for Search and Rescue. They guided themselves through poor weather conditions and zero visibility from fog.

Second, Joy was smart. When he realized he had skied far out of bounds and was lost, he built a snow cave to keep warm and drank water from the nearby Carrabassett Stream. He tried to hike out in different directions but returned to the cave at night. On Tuesday he started hiking out and miraculously connected with Caribou Pond Road.

Third, Joel Paul had luck, and experience, on his side. Paul, a fire captain from Massachusetts, wasn’t part of the official search-and-rescue team but had heard about the boy’s disappearance. He was snowmobiling when he saw tracks in the snow, according to news accounts. He followed them and eventually saw Joy, calling wardens to report the discovery. Though Joy was a little hypothermic, tired and hungry, he would be fine.

Fourth, people who had never met Joy expressed jubilation at his rescue. One man even tried to bring Joy food when he stayed at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington. We’d like to add our name to those who are happy and amazed at Joy’s survival. A success story all around.

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