Two snowmobilers from Parker, nearly submerged in Grassy Lake, were rescued after two Fremont County Search and Rescue volunteers happened by around 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The Wyoming Lake borders the Fremont County border, and it isn’t unusual for FCSR volunteers to help in rescues there. They do so occasionally and are usually the first on the scene while waiting for additional help from Wyoming Search and Rescue units. What was unusual about this rescue was that the FCSR volunteers were on their own personal time and snowmobiling by when the snowmobilers from Parker flagged them down.
“I’m not sure what the snowmobilers were doing, and whether the lake was looking like there was ice on it or not. I’m not sure what their motive was,” said FCSR Secretary Eric Thomas. “The one had water up to his neck, and the other had water up to his knees. We were worried about them having hypothermia.”
FCSR contacted Sheriff Len Humphries about the situation, and he quickly gave approval for additional FCSR help.
“It was pretty scary. That darn lake gets all that snow on it before it freezes,” he said.
Such often tempts ice fishermen and snowmobilers into thinking it’s safe to venture on, and such appears to have been the case with the Parker snowmobilers.
FCSR managed to fish the men out of the lake and took them back to shore where they were given warm clothing quite literally off the backs of FCSR volunteers. Thomas reported that FCSR volunteers always wear a lot of protective clothing and had enough to share with two very cold snowmobilers estimated to be in their late teens or early 20s.
“Usually we dress in layers. They just took that outer layer off. They took their waterproof jackets off and put them on the people to keep the wind off. We brought them back to their vehicle. It probably took 30 minutes to get back to their vehicle,” he said.
FCSR dispatched an ambulance to help guard against hypothermia. The Parker men were cold but no injuries were reported, Thomas said.
While the snowmobilers were rescued, the same can’t be said about their snowmobiles, Thomas said.
“Their sleds are in the bottom of the lake,” he said.
Thomas said it was lucky coincidence that FCSR volunteers happened by when they did and were able to rescue the snowmobilers so quickly.
“This could have been such a life and death situation. We had somebody right there,” he said.