NEWRY, MAINE (CBS) — Tom Dilger thought he was going to die this week.

“I was beginning to panic. I was very cold, I was becoming hypothermic. I was exhausted. I had been running on adrenaline for hour,” the 29-year-old Worcester man said.

mountain rescue tony I Was Beginning To Panic: Worcester Camper Rescued After Losing His Way On Maine Mountain

Tom Dilger (WBZ)

He went camping on Puzzle Mountain in Newry, Maine. Dilger says he knew a storm was coming but didn’t know how bad it was going to be until Sunday night.

Dilger says, “At that point I knew I needed to dig in and get myself ready for a blizzard in the mountains.”

But after nearly two feet of snow fell, he decided to head back. Going down the mountain, he faced a difficult choice: Stay the course or make his own path.

“You don’t ever go off trail. People who go off trail get found in the spring,” Dilger said.

mountain view maine I Was Beginning To Panic: Worcester Camper Rescued After Losing His Way On Maine Mountain

The view on Puzzle Mountain (Photo credit: Tom Dilger)

But fear and hypothermia were setting in and Dilger went off trail. He was able to get just enough battery out of his phone to send his location. About three hours after the call went out, a rescue team from Mahoosuc Mountain found Dilger.

“Every single one of those guys is a hero in my eyes,” Dilger said of the team.

Dilger had some mild hypothermia but was able to go home shortly after being rescued Wednesday night .

He says he hopes campers learn from his mistake and never go camping by themselves.

  1. I have a PLB (personal locator beacon). You can’t chat on it but the battery will not be dead. If you hike in winter get the one that works in very cold temps. You life is worth the extra bucks. Things don’t always work out as planned. This is on very lucky hiker. Thank you SAR. Another job well done.

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