Missing Snowmobilers Located In Clearwater County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Missing Snowmobilers Located In Clearwater County

CLEARWATER COUNTY, Idaho - The Clearwater County Sheriff's Office received a call from the Shoshone County Sheriff's Office advising of a situation that was located in Clearwater County. Shoshone county had received a call from a company that is associated with a Personal Locater Beacon. (PLB) The company had received a 911 locate from a PLB and the GPS coordinates put the location just south of Shoshone County and near the Little North Fork, Smith Ridge area in Clearwater County.

A Search Team with the Clearwater County Sheriff's Office was activated. Life Flight Helicopter from Lewiston was dispatched to the area. Life Flight was able to make visual contact with the individuals but were unable to land due to conditions.  Deputies rode snowmobiles from Bertha Hill to the area and located the subjects at approximately 02:27 a.m. on 2/3/12.

Dennis Kerr, 52 of Clarkston, Washington and Bret Kasperbauer, 29 also of Clarkston were in good health when located. Both advised that they had left Elk River on snowmobiles approximately 10:30 a.m. for a days ride. When it started getting dark the subjects realized that they were lost and running low on fuel. They found a location and set in for the night. At this time they decided to push the help button on the PLB. Both subjects were well equipped for the stay. They had Avalanche Beacons, shovels, snacks, drinks, road flares for starting fires and colored emergency lights. Kerr and Kasperbauer built a snow shelter and started a fire for warmth. They knew that help would be coming when the Life Flight helicopter hovered over them.

Deputies were able to fuel up the snowmobiles and the subjects followed the deputies out to Betha Hill. The round trip on snowmobiles was 104 miles. Both subjects were taken to Orofino to meet relatives.

The Clearwater County Sheriff's Office recommends that all people recreating this time of year to be prepared with avalanche beacons, shovel, snacks and fire starting capabilities. There are several different companies that supply PLB's and these can be located online.

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