CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Wardens say they will not resume their search today for three snowmobilers who went missing in western Maine after going for an evening ride and failing to return.
Wardens say high winds and extreme cold make it unsafe to search for the mean.
The Maine Warden Service says the three men left Carrabassett Valley at about 6 p.m. Sunday and were last heard from in Eustis, a couple of towns away.
Corp. John MacDonald says the three men are 40-year-old Kenneth Henderson from China, 43-year-old Glenn Henderson from Sabattus, and 41-year-old John Spencer from Litchfield.
The men were expected to return but never showed up. He says the riders had cellphones but have not called in.
Wardens searched the area during the night in frigid conditions and resumed search efforts Monday morning.
Late Monday afternoon, the Warden's Service released a statement which stated that searchers looking to recover the body of snowmobiler who has broken through thin ice on Rangeley Lake on Sunday evening had discovered several pieces of evidence that indicate the three men may have gone into the lake as well.
MacDonald says the search for the missing men will resume Tuesday morning utilizing boats equipped with side scan sonar and planes.
The incidents have wardens renewing their call for riders to use extreme caution on the state's lakes, ponds and rivers as ice conditions are poor in all corners of the state.
Sgt. Tim Spahr says a lack of snow last year, combined with a foot or more snow in recent days, has many riders anxious to get out on the trails, but the snow may be hiding thin ice below.
"We've had a lot of snow in a short period of time, but we haven't really had time for this snow to pack down, so it is not really as deep and packed as it may appear," explained Spahr. "In addition to that, if you are operating on frozen water, on ice, on lakes, it could mask open water or mask thin ice."
Spahr says snowmobilers should check conditions before heading out on trails or frozen water. He also suggests riders leave behind an itinerary and let someone know when you plan to return home.