A New Jersey family was rescued Saturday night after they became stranded atop a remote mountain in Franklin County.
Don Latona, 53; his wife, 52-year-old Meena Latona; and their three children, 18-year-old Connor Latona, 20-year-old Meaghan Latona and 22-year-old Ashley Latona, all of Freehold, New Jersey, climbed to the top of Tumbledown Mountain on Saturday, but ice and snow obscured the trailhead back down the mountain, according to Mark Latti, a spokesperson for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
With the sun setting and temperatures falling into the low 30s, the family called for help about 6:46 p.m., Latti said Sunday evening.
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Game wardens and other rescuers hiked to the top of the mountain, where they found the Latonas without adequate clothing and not enough food, water and lighting to make it off the mountain, according to Latti.
Rescuers started a fire to warm the family before making the trek down and eventually off Tumbledown about midnight.
“This family was not prepared for the conditions they experienced on this hike. There still is ice, snow, and sub-freezing temperatures on the trails of many Maine mountains,” Maine Game Warden Sgt. Scott Thrasher said. “These conditions can be extremely dangerous for those who are unprepared.”
Tumbledown Mountain is west of Farmington.