Lost teens survive night of sub-zero temperatures in Maine woods

"You need to take a deep breath, take in where you are and start walking, keep moving," Tyler Howard-Gotto, 15, said of getting lost in the woods.

By Kate Stanton

MEXICO, Maine, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Two 15-year-olds lost overnight in the woods of western Maine have returned home safely.

Ty Howard-Gotto and Jonah May, of North Smithfield, R.I., spent the night in -11 degree weather after their snowmobiles got stuck in the snow at around 7:30 p.m., Tuesday.


They were on their way to Howard-Gotto's grandfather's house in Andover, Maine, where they were expected to arrive at 10 p.m.

"I am relieved as heck. It's been a long night. I've been worried stiff," Howard-Gotto's mother, Tracy Howard, told WMTV.

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The two teens walked about four miles through deep snow until they found a go-kart with a tank of gas.

They used the gas to start a fire, then spent the night huddled in the go-kart, with temperatures hovering around 10 degrees below zero.

"I was a little scared, started thinking about my mother and that stuff, but Ty kept me in line," May told WCSH-TV. "[He] told me we gotta make a fire and push through this."

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"Once you know you're done, you need to take a deep breath, take in where you are and start walking, keep moving," Howard-Gotto told the Press-Herald. "That's the only thing you gotta do."


When the boys woke up in the morning, they walked until they spotted a passing car. They returned to Howard-Gotto's grandfather's house at 10 a.m., without any signs of hypothermia.

"With temperatures last night at 10 below zero and not really knowing how they were dressed, I mean that's cold no matter how you cut it," Lt. Adam Gormley, Maine's game warden, told WMTV. "To be able to find any kind of shelter in a night like that is very fortunate."

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