“This could have ended tragically but these boys are very lucky.”
Two young skiers were rescued Tuesday night after getting lost while skiing outside the Wachusett Mountain ski area boundaries, according to the Princeton Fire Department.
Princeton Fire Chief John Bennett told ABC News’ Boston affiliate station WCVB that the two skiers — both 15-year-old boys — waited three hours in chest-deep snow before calling authorities.
With their phone’s battery level at 9%, the skiers were able to call 911, and dispatchers were able to identify the location of the cell phone signal, which identified that they were two miles “from any civilization,” according to the Princeton Fire Department in a statement released Wednesday.
Sharing their body heat to survive, the two skiers were able to wait while crews “battled the elements, darkness and dangerous snow pack,” the Princeton Fire Department said.
“I was worried. I was worried,” Princeton fire chief John Bennett told WCVB. “I was looking at it on my way here responding, and that’s in the middle of nowhere. It’s on old fire roads on the back side of the mountain. So they had gotten a long way from the ski area.”
The Princeton area reported nearly 30 inches of snow from the March nor’easter, according to WCVB, although higher elevations likely received additional snowfall from the storm.
The mountain the boys were rescued on is part of the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation in Massachusetts about 50 miles west of Boston. It features approximately 3,000 acres of hiking amid a 2,000-foot mountain summit that can experience sudden and severe weather conditions, especially in the winter, according to WCVB.
An ambulance was standing by for when the boys returned but it was deemed that neither needed medical treatment following the incident and both teenagers were released back into the care of their families, WCVB said.
“This could have ended tragically,” the fire department said. “But these boys are very lucky.”