A 17-year-old skier from Medford, Massachusetts got lost in the Maine wilderness after taking a shortcut down a mountain and survived two nights in the freezing cold by using the survival skills he learned while watching a survival television show, reports the Boston Herald. The teen was in good condition on Tuesday and was taken to the Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Nicholas Joy was Missing for Two Days
Nicholas Joy and his father went skiing on Sunday and split up after taking one final trip to the top of the mountain. They planned on meeting in the parking lot, but the 17-year-old never showed up.
2. He Got Lost After Taking a Shortcut
Joy took a backcountry shortcut in an effort to try and save time and ended up getting lost. He was being stuck out in the wilderness for two nights.
3. A Search was Called Off Because of Bad Weather Conditions
When his son didn’t show up at the parking lot, the teen’s father called for help. The warden service, the Sugarloaf ski patrol, the Maine Forest Service, the U.S. Border Patrol, area rescue squads, Carrabassett Valley Academy ski volunteers and others searched for Joy on skis, snowshoes and snowmobiles, but the search had to be suspended due to harsh weather conditions.
4. The Massachusetts Teen Survived Because He Watched a Survival Television Show
Joy survived by using the survival skills he learned by watching a survival television show. He built a shelter in the snow, drank from a stream and walked toward the sound of snowmobiles during the day. He used hemlock branches to build the shelter and even tried rubbing sticks together to spark a fire, but was unsuccessful.
“He did the right thing in building a snow cave, and obviously he’s still alive to talk about it, so he made some good decisions,” search coordinator, Lt. Kevin Adam, said.
5. Joy Was in Good Shape When He was Found
Snowmobiler Joseph Paul, who was not a part of the official search team, found Joy on Tuesday at about 8:30 a.m. Paul set off on an impromptu search after reading about the missing teen.
“I know that area, so I figured I’d head that way on a snowmobile,” Paul said. “I thought that if I could help out, I would try.”
Besides being cold, Paul said that Joy was in pretty good shape. He didn’t have frostbite or suffer from any other injuries, but Joy spent the night at the hospital.
“There is great relief and happiness that Nicholas has made it through this difficult ordeal,” Joy’s parents said in a statement to the hospital, thanking those who helped search for their son.