CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (CBS/AP) – A search is under way at the Sugarloaf ski resort in western Maine for a missing teen skier from Massachusetts.
The Maine Warden Service says 17-year-old Nicholas Joy of Medford was last seen Sunday by his father at 12:40 p.m. on the Timberline chairlift.
In a statement issued Monday, the Warden Service said Joy and his father had been skiing together all morning. When it was time to go home, the father told his son he would meet him at the bottom of the hill but Joy never showed up.
He was reported missing by his family when he failed to meet them. He was not wearing a helmet.
The Sugarloaf ski patrol and game wardens searched 400 to 500 acres of in-bound and out-of-bound areas on skis, snowshoes and snowmobiles late Sunday afternoon and into the overnight hours, and resumed the search at first light Monday.
Temperatures at Sugarloaf were in the mid-20’s Sunday night, with light snow falling. On Monday, 35 to 45 mile-per-hour winds were blowing at the top of the mountain.
“It’s a technical search, in other words, it involves very rough terrain. We can’t get any aircraft into the area at this time because of high winds and snow blowing in the area, it’s limiting visibility” Doug Rafferty, spokesman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
“It is very difficult for us to conduct a search. It’s a very large area. It’s a large ski mountain, very tall. So the weather is often not the best for a search. Aircraft is a good tool, but without the ability to use it right now, it’s making it a strictly a ground search with snowmobiles and snowshoes,” Corporal John MacDonald of the Warden Service told WBZ.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, authorities said visibility is so bad they can’t see five feet off a trail and any clues he would have left for searchers would be hard to detect right now.
Anyone with information about Nicholas Joy’s location should call the Maine Warden Service at 207-624-7076.
Joy is a senior at Medford High School.
“At the request of his family, we do not wish to make any formal statements other than the obvious serious concerns we have for him,” headmaster John Perella said to WBZ-TV in an email.
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