April 09, 2020

2 lost hikers reach safety after 18 hours

RILEY TOWNSHIP – Two young men who got lost while hiking on Old Speck Mountain walked for 18 hours straight before meeting up Friday with wardens who had been searching for them.

“They were cold, wet, tired and hungry, but otherwise in good shape,” Mark Latti, spokesman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said.

Michael Hawkins, 21, and Ryan Weeks, 21, both of Augusta, called on a cell phone Thursday night to report that they had become lost.

Wardens searching the area said it was possible the hikers had crossed into New Hampshire. They were found, however, about five miles away in the Ketchum area of Riley Township, which borders the town of Newry, Latti said Friday.

They had jackets to help stave off the cold as they walked through the night using a flashlight, Latti said. The two men found a camp at 5 a.m. before moving on, and wardens located them at about 1:45 p.m. Friday, he said.

Although they had jackets and a flashlight, the hikers were not prepared for an extended hiking trek and didn’t have appropriate rain gear or enough food.

“They weren’t prepared for this type of an adventure,” Latti said.

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