A snowmobiler who went missing Thursday evening in the Panhandle National Forest near the Fernan Trail Head has been located.
Fredrick Goodwin, 62, of Rathrum, was found around 8:40 a.m. Friday on foot and working his way back to one of the forest trail heads. He was located by Kootenai County sheriff’s personnel with assistance of the local snowmobile club and the Volunteer Search and Rescue unit.
Goodwin was cold, wet and tired, and suffering from the onset of hypothermia, per a news release from the sheriff’s office. Medical personnel were requested for a patient evaluation and he was treated at the scene.
A search began Thursday for Goodwin after the sheriff’s office received a call around 6:30 p.m. that after leaving the Skitwish Warming Hut with his riding party and heading back to the Fernan Trail Head, Goodwin had become separated from the party.
The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office mobilized its backcountry unit and the volunteer search and rescue unit and responded to the Fernan Trail Head. Due to the weather and visibility they were not able to immediately locate Goodwin Thursday evening. As visibility and the weather conditions continued to deteriorate, the initial search was suspended until morning when weather conditions were forecasted to improve.
Two Bear Air from Montana and the Air Force Rescue Center assisted with the search.
“It is important for those outdoor enthusiasts to make sure they are prepared when they venture into the back country. Being prepared and having proper clothing, extra food, water and basic safety supplies are essential for survival,” said the sheriff’s office, in the news release. “If you have questions about what equipment you should have or what the conditions are in the backcountry you can call the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Recreation Safety Section at 208-446-1300.”