A Smithville man was found cold, and wet but otherwise unharmed after becoming lost in the West Lincoln area while snowmobiling.
The 25 year-old man left his residence just after midnight last night, March 4, to take his snowmobile out for a short ride.
The man quickly became disoriented in the darkness and ended up in unfamiliar territory.
After several hours of attempting to find his way back to his residence, the snowmobile ran out of fuel and the rider was unable to determine his location. The rider did have a cell phone but it was low on power. He was able to place a single call, contacting his father at approximately 3:30 am. The man’s father then contacted the Niagara Regional Police Service.
Officers from 8-District Grimsby detachment, along with Niagara EMS, and the West Lincoln Fire Department attended and began searching a large area from the last possible point of contact. After approximately an hour of searching the man spotted the emergency lighting on a Niagara EMS ambulance and was able to walk to safety.
Suffering some minor effects from being exposed to the elements, the man was treated by paramedics and transported to West Lincoln Memorial Hospital as a precaution.
Police are advising snowmobilers to adhere to some simple safety tips when sledding:
– ensure you are appropriately dressed for the weather and be mindful of the forecast for changes in temperature or conditions
– always travel in a pair or group
– stay on marked trails or in areas where you are familiar to avoid getting lost
– never consume alcohol or drugs while snowmobiling or operating any motorized vehicle
– avoid riding at night as hazards may be more difficult to see
– do not trespass onto private property
– ensure your snowmobile has sufficient fuel and is mechanically fit
– always carry a fully charged cell phone and GPS unit