Sunday, December 30, 2007

Big Scare for Lost Brothers at Sleeping Bear

Remember last Sunday, you Michiganders? That's the day the weather started out in the 40's, who could believe it? But by mid afternoon the winds were gusting to 50 mph, snow was driving sideways with blizzard conditions and the temperatures had dropped to the 20's.

Ryan and Curtis Yost, ages 16 and 21, had gone to Sleeping Bear to snowboard on that ominous day. They found icy conditions at The Homestead Resort, so decided to climb the dune instead. They entered the park before noon.

At 3:30 pm Curtis called his mother on their cell phone. She was driving home from Traverse City and said that she couldn't see the next telephone pole, conditions were so bad. She told the boys to try to determine their location and call her back in 15 minutes.

The boys thought they were walking back to their car, but instead ended up on the shore of Lake Michigan. They were found with the aid of the GPS locator in the boys' cell phone. Although it was working only intermittently, rescue workers were able to tell the boys to go down to the beach.

Volunteers from the Glen Arbor Township Fire and Rescue established a rescue staging area near a maritime museum in Glen Haven. An all-terrain vehicle drove down the shoreline looking for the boys, but encountered high waves, and sand falling from the bluffs. After a mile-and-a-half the searchers continued on foot.

Darkness fell, and the rescue crew stated that they couldn't see 100 feet ahead of them.

Ryan is reported to have laid down, but his brother Curtis roused him and insisted that he stay active.

Shortly after 6 p.m. the boys were located. They were checked over by the ambulance team, and given a stern lecture.

"Fortunately, everything worked out. But I lectured them about the weather conditions and that they put a lot of people in harm's way as a result of their actions," Park ranger Chris Johnson said. "If they hadn't had the cell phone, the results could have been drastically different."

read the full story in the Leelanau Enterprise, "Lost brothers create Lakeshore scare", Dec 29, 2007
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