Big props to conservation officers Jenni Hanson and Zach Painter!

The two officers were dispatched on Saturday around 6:30 PM to lead a rescue mission to help find snowmobilers on the Big Iron River who had been separated from their group. They were riding along a part of the river that was illegal to do some off-roading; they weren't able to keep up and were stranded in a slushy area of the river. Officer Hanson was actually on her way home from work when she got the call and turned around.

The officers were faced with walking up parts of the trail that were VERY treacherous; some parts were concealing ice that could be broken through under their feet. After several hours, they met up with the snowmobilers, who were walking to keep warm. The officers brought them dry gloves, hats and granola bars. One of the men was close to hypothermia.

The walk back took close to two hours and the officers said that the men looked like "zombies," saying that they'd take a few steps and then fall over. Emergency crews were waiting for them at the end.

Of course, not wanting to toot their own horns, Officers Painter and Hanson said that the men "saved themselves" by walking, but the Michigan DNR is hailing them as heroes. Well deserved!

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