MILLINOCKET, Maine — Three women who became separated while snowmobiling in Piscataquis County on Sunday night were found safe after an overnight search that Maine Warden Service officials described as “intense.”

The women — Dorothy Gould, 62, of Glenburn, Valerie Morrow of Garland and Alice Meadow of Texas — had been staying together at a camp on Smith Pond, west of Millinocket in Township T3 – Indian Purchase, Cpl. John MacDonald, public information officer for the warden service, wrote in a news release issued Monday afternoon. He said the trio had gone snowmobiling on Sunday evening and were headed toward Kokadjo when they became stuck near Penobscot Pond between Millinocket and Kokadjo.

“Dorothy Gould left her two friends on snowmobile to find help when she became lost,” MacDonald stated. “Gould made her way to the north end of Baxter State Park where she ran out of gas near Nesowadnehunk Field Campground.”

Game wardens began gathering about 2:30 a.m. Monday to launch an extensive search. More than a dozen game wardens and two warden service aircraft were involved, he wrote.

Wardens found Meadow and Morrow stranded beside the snowmobile trail on Monday morning, MacDonald said. They were cold and hungry from spending the night outdoors and wardens took them to Kokadjo for help.

Wardens learned later that Gould had found a cabin near Nesowadnehunk Field where she made a fire and took shelter for the rest of the night. On Monday morning, she reportedly found snowmobilers who were traveling in the area who gave her extra gasoline and she followed the group back to Millinocket, where she met game wardens around noon.

“The Maine Warden Service recognizes that this incident was very dangerous and could have turned out much worse,” MacDonald said. “With temperatures last evening below zero and some thin ice in the area, game wardens were very concerned for the women’s safety.”