Four children ranging in age from 2 to 14 who were reported overdue in returning from a snowmobile ride in western Alaska have been found, according to rescuers.
Rescuer Bryan Simon told Alaska Public Media the children were found huddled together in a foot-deep hole they had dug.
“The infant was in there,” Simon said. “And the boy laid over the infant, and on his left side, a little older boy covering the draft. And the 7-year-old was laying right above them like he was blocking the wind.”
The children were cold, hungry and tired when discovered on Monday, KTUU-TV reported, citing rescuers. Though the rescuers initially said the children were otherwise unharmed, KTVA-TV reported that a trooper dispatch later said they are receiving treatment for severe hypothermia.
Blizzard conditions had hampered the search, Alaska State Troopers said. The children had been expected to return to the community of Nunum Iqua early Sunday afternoon, troopers said in a Monday web posting.
Troopers identified the children as Christopher Johnson, 14, Frank Johnson, 8, Ethan Camille, 7, and Trey Camille, 2.
They were last seen at 1 p.m Sunday while headed to a snowmachine ride and troopers kicked off their search after being alerted around 6:45 that evening, KTUU reported.
U.S. & World
Multiple local, state and federal agencies were involved in the search and rescue for the children, including helicopters from the Army National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Nunum Iqua, formerly known as Sheldon Point, is about 500 miles (805 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage. The 2010 Census put the population at 187 people.