Rescuers find snowmobilers safe after night on mountain above Bountiful

Feb 22 2013 - 7:13am

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BOUNTIFUL -- Two snowmobilers were rescued Thursday afternoon after spending the night in the Tuttle Mine Loop above Bountiful.

Robert J. Sutton, 41, of Centerville, and Robert Cole Sutton, his 15-year-old son, visiting from San Diego, were snowmobiling Wednesday in the loop area near the Bountiful "B" on the mountainside and were expected to return home later that night, said Weber County Sheriff's Sgt. Susan Poulsen.

However, a storm moved in, putting visibility near zero, and the pair became concerned about getting down from the mountain safely.

The pair notified family members Wednesday that they would spend the night near the Tuttle Mine Loop and would come down from the mountain Thursday, said Poulsen.

Davis County Sheriff's Office dispatchers received a call from family members around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, and sheriff's office Search and Rescue members mobilized to locate the man and his son, she said.

The stranded pair couldn't get their snowmobiles started but were able to send text messages to family stating they were OK and that they were going to burn one of the snowmobiles to stay warm and to signal rescuers, said Poulsen. They did burn a snowmobile.

Nine search and rescue personnel using seven snowmobiles and a helicopter from the state Department of Public Safety were dispatched to locate the pair. Two citizens on snowmobiles in the area also helped in the search, and one of them, Kevin Sundh of Bountiful, found the missing individuals about 4 p.m. Thursday.

"They (the missing man and son) were at the top of the mountain in a gully just below the ridge," Poulsen said.

The search was hampered by deep, wet snow and low visibility.

The two were cold, wet and hungry and only had equipment and provisions for a day trip. They were checked by medical personnel at the scene and released.

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