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Missoula County searchers locate missing snowmobilers

By KECI Staff
Published On: Jan 30 2013 02:56:00 PM MST
Updated On: Jan 28 2013 09:04:58 PM MST
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MISSOULA, Mont. -

A helicopter flew into the back country near Seeley Lake to rescue a 49-year-old man and his 19-year-old son.

The two spent the night in the wilderness after being reported missing Sunday night. Both men are from Helena. The duo looked happy and healthy coming off of the helicopter.

Missoula County Search and Rescue were out looking for two Helena men who went missing while snowmobiling in the Seeley Lake area on Sunday. 

When the men weren't heard from when they were supposed to report home last night, the Sheriff's department was called.

We spoke with Deputy Bob Parcells, and he told us that they had found the men's vehicle at the trail head.

Parcells said the area had received significant snowfall, so the snow mobile tracks are difficult to follow.

Friends of the family drove out to Seeley from Helena this morning to check their usual stomping grounds.

But it would be the arrival of the Two Bear search and rescue helicopter that flew in from Kalispell and found the missing snowmobilers within minutes.

Pilots had to get rid of some of their weight in order to land the chopper near the two men. The Flathead County sheriff volunteered to step out onto the frozen lake along with some of the crew's unnecessary gear.

After flying the father and son back to their truck where the search party had regrouped, the father, Rick Sparks, yelled playfully at his friends about not finding him first.

Sparks expressed his gratitude for the helicopter pilots and his relief of being done with the whole ordeal.