Maine game wardens endured challenging conditions to rescue two hikers on the Bold Coast Trail along the Maine coast Sunday night.
According to Maine Warden Service officials, rescuers hiked for more than five hours and endured icy trail conditions to rescue the hikers, who had reportedly underestimated the trail and were unprepared for a long hike and darkness.
Wardens received the rescue call for the two hikers at roughly 5 p.m. on Sunday. The hikers, Staci McCarthy, 53, and Margaret Ross, 73, both from Pembroke, Maine, began their hike with two dogs shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
The pair reportedly hiked for nearly three miles before realizing they underestimated the length and difficulty of the trip and that it would be dark before they made it back to their vehicle.
Officials said the hikers had no food, water or flashlights with them. McCarthy did have her mobile phone and used it to call 911. Game wardens identified the location of the two women shortly before McCarthy’s cell phone battery died.
Game wardens and Maine Marine Patrol officers attempted to use watercraft to rescue the hikers, but due to a strong tidal surf, a water rescue was too difficult and dangerous.
In an effort that took nearly five hours, game wardens, Marine Patrol officers, Washington County Sheriff’s deputies and Cutler Fire volunteers hiked to the hikers’ location and assisted them back over the icy trail system.
They were back at their vehicle at roughly 2 a.m. on Monday.