A desperate 9-1-1 call was answered by park rangers and emergency personnel at Tahquamenon Falls to rescue hikers stranded in the dark.

Michigan DNR says it was the opposite of what you might think: Michigan's unseasonably mild conditions were the catalyst, not a Winter storm. In a story straight out of a movie, 3 innocent hikers planning to spend an afternoon at scenic Tahquamenon Falls State Park found themselves off-trail, alone and afraid in the dark.

Early winter rain showers had produced a sheet of ice that covered 4 inches of snow. This frosty glaze encased park features, including the 4-mile-long trail between the spectacular Upper and Lower Tahquamenon Falls. Three young men who attempted the trail hike became stranded along the banks of the wide, winding river. After sliding down an embankment, they were unable to get back up.

-Michigan Department of Natural Resources

It took a posse of DNR officers, Sheriff's deputies, State Troopers, EMS workers and U.S. Border Patrol agents responding to a frantic 9-1-1 call, 3 hours of searching in the dark with flashlights to locate the trio "stranded at the bottom of an icy ridge. One man was showing signs of hypothermia, including confusion and fatigue, and was struggling to move." Fighting slippery footing and bone-chilling wind chills, the cadre of rescuers formed a human chain to get the hikers to safety and give the story a happy ending.

Bonus Video: Michigan DNR Offers Winter Safety Tips


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