UPDATED: Missing Superior Man Found

By KBJR News 1

January 20, 2013 Updated Jan 21, 2013 at 7:07 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) - A cold brush with death near the town of Superior: a man is alive after being stranded outside for two nights in sub-zero temperatures.

A Douglas County plow driver found Craig Friebe frostbitten, but breathing.

"Craig was reported missing sometime Saturday morning," said Vern Johnson, Battalion Chief with the Superior Fire Department. "He had been ice fishing with some acquaintances and said he was going to take a snowmobile ride and never came back."

Friebe ran out of gas far away from his ice fishing party, and started his trek back. When he couldn't find his friends, and it was getting dark, he lit a fire that first night.

He was still lost Sunday night and couldn't get a fire going.

Monday, he was spotted and rescued along County Road W at the Nemadji River bridge.

Douglas County Sheriff Dept. Deputies and a Gold Cross Ambulance responded to the scene.

"If it's below zero and especially with wind chills like this you really want to use caution and really go out if you have to." said Nate Peterson with the St. Louis County Rescue Squad.

Avoiding a situation like this is the number one tip officials have.

"Probably to venture out by yourself is not good, number one," said Johnson.

But if are somebody that chooses to hop on that ATV or snowmobile when temperatures get below zero, there are some useful tips from law enforcement that can help keep you alive.

"Some reliable source to start a fire whether it's matches or a flint," said Peterson. "There is several commercial options for different ways to start a fire other than matches."

"Being smart about how far you go, where you go and who you go with," said Johnson."

Not everyone will be as lucky as Friebe when the woods of the Northland turn deadly in winter.

Friebe is listed in fair condition at Essentia Health St. Marys in Duluth.

Meanwhile over the weekend, two lost snowmobilers spent a night in Voyageurs National Park in an unheated boathouse.

The St. Louis County Sheriff's office says they were located Sunday morning, and were cold, but safe.

Zach Vavricka

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