8-Year-Old Boy Ate Snow, Sheltered Under Log During 2 Days Lost In State Park
An eight-year-old boy was rescued after spending two days lost in the northern Michigan wilderness. Nante Niemi, of Wisconsin, went missing while camping in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, and survived the ordeal by sheltering under an old log and eating clean snow.
Michigan State Police (MSP) released a statement on May 8, 2023, informing the public that Niemi had been found safe.
“Nante Niemi was safely located at 1:30 p.m Central Standard Time this afternoon by search party volunteers approximately two miles from his campsite. He braved the elements by taking shelter under a log where he was ultimately found. He is in good health and reunited with his family.”
The statement ended with the MSP thanking everyone for their assistance in the search.
Troopers were alerted to the eight-year-old’s disappearance on May 6, with his parents informing authorities he hadn’t returned to their campsite after wandering off to collect firewood. This sparked an immediate search of area, encompassing a 40-square-mile zone.
Over 150 search and rescue personnel, including nine K9s, scoured Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park on foot, water and in the air. They noted a lot of standing water – a result of the spring melt – and roads that were still impassable due to the amount of snow.
According to the MSP, Niemi had been walking along a trail, which eventually ran out. “He figured the best thing to do was to just stop and wait,” the service tweeted. He “covered up with branches and leaves for warmth and also blanketed the log he was under. He didn’t have any food but ate clean snow for hydration.”
Hurley School District, where the child is a student, posted to Facebook how relieved it was that Niemi had been found.
“Although our emotions are very raw at this time, we want to acknowledge the extreme outpouring of love and support we received these past few days,” the post read. “May all those who took part in the search and rescue efforts know that your work will have a positive impact on many lives forever!”
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Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is located in Ontonagon, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It spans 60,000 acres, and includes numerous waters, the Lake of the Clouds and a 35,000-acre old-growth forest. Those who visit the area can partake in cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, biking, fishing and camping.