SHARECOMMENTMORE

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Officials at Sugarloaf say search teams have found 17-year-old Nicholas Joy alive.He had been missing since Sunday afternoon.

PHOTOS:Skier search and rescue

Joy was found near the Caribou Pond Road, off the western side of Sugarloaf Mountain. Joseph Paul was on snomobile when he found Joy. Paul said he went on that trail knowing Joy was last seen on that side of the mountain.Paul said the teenager told him that he was able to survive based on skills he saw on reality TV.

The Maine Warden Service says Joy, who is from Medford, Massachusetts, was found at approximately 9:00am on Tuesday. He was located by a snowmobiler who was not part of the search party.

Wardens say he survived two nights in the wild by building a snow cave for shelter while walking toward the sound of snowmobiles during the day. While he was walking, he discovered snowshoe tracks made by searchers and followed them to the Caribou Pond Road.

Joywas taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital for evaluation.

The Maine Warden Service, the Sugarloaf ski patrol and others had been searching for Joy on skis, snowshoes and snowmobiles since Sunday afternoon, when he was reported missing after failing to meet up with his father.

Wardens say he built a snow cave for insulation. He slept there for two nights. The say he didn't stray far - only going to the nearby Carrabassett stream to drink fresh water.

Lt. Kevin Adam of the Maine Warden Service said he "Obviously he made some errors getting off the trail, but he used his head and made some very good decisions." The high winds kept the Wardens from using a plane in their search...making it less likely they'd find him alive.

Using skills he's seen on survival TV shows, Nicholas waited until he heard the sound of snowmobiles in the distance Tuesday morning. He walked a mile and half until spotted - then taken to safety, where his parents were waiting.

Nicholas' mother tells us he has no injuires or frostbite and he did not suffer from hypothermia, but he will be staying at the hospital overnight. Donna Joy says she's very proud of her son. She said that after not eaing for two days, all he wants to do is eat a cheeseburger and fries.


Authorities say Joy and his father split up and took separate trails from the top on Sunday, and the father called for help when his son failed to meet with him.

Tuesday afternoon, Nicholas' parents, Robert and Donna Joy, issued this statement:

"There is great relief and happiness that Nicholas has made it through this difficult ordeal. We want to thank everyone for their hopes and prayers and especially members of the rescue team that includes:

Sugarloaf Staff and Ski Patrol
Maine Warden Service
The Carrabassett Valley Academy community
US Border Patrol
Carrabassett Valley Police and Fire Department
Maine Forest Service
Maine Association of Search and Rescue volunteers

His family would like to extend a very special thank you to Chaplain Gerry Baril, and Joseph Paul, the snowmobiler who found Nicholas. Nicholas is doing well and his family would like the public to respect our privacy during this time of healing."

SHARECOMMENTMORE