Maine wardens say a remotely-operated underwater vehicle has located two snowmobiles in Rangeley Lake, as officials search for three men who are presumed to have accidentally driven their snowmobiles into open water on the lake at the end of December.
Warden spokesman, Cpl. John MacDonald, says wardens suspected the machines were there based on sonar images during efforts in January. MacDonald says the underwater vehicle is necessary right now to search the bottom of the lake.
"It's not safe to send divers down to simply search around," he says. "We need to have something identified before we even consider sending someone down."
MacDonald says crews are searching water 90- to 130-feet deep, and in complete darkness. He says this week may be the last time this winter that wardens will be able to search, and further efforts might have to wait until spring. The two machines were located Monday.
This story was reported and written by Ed Morin.