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Update: Rescued Snowmobiler in Fair Condition at Hospital

Posted at: 01/20/2013 6:32 PM
Updated at: 01/29/2013 2:13 PM
By: Alan Hoglund
ahoglund@wdio.com

nullA snowmobiler who had been missing since Saturday was found alive Monday morning.

Tiffany Jenner, a plow driver with the Douglas County Highway Department, spotted 51-year-old Craig Friebe along County Road W at the Nemadji River bridge at about 8:50 a.m. "I was sanding down the hill, and I seen the sign and something hunched over by the sign," Jenner told Eyewitness News in an exclusive interview.

Jenner said Friebe looked disorientated and very weak.

Authorities said Friebe's snowmobile had apparently run out of fuel farther up the Nemadji River on Saturday. He started back up the river on foot and kept warm with a fire Saturday night, but did not have a fire Sunday night.

On Sunday, rescue crews searched for Friebe. According to authorities, they had planned to begin again Monday morning.

When Jenner found him, “he looked really tough. He looked like he was frozen. He looked severely frozen,” she said. According to authorities, when Jenner found Friebe next to the bridge, he was 20 miles from where he was last seen.

“He looked so cold and I just called somebody as soon as I could to get help out there,” Jenner said.

Authorities said Friebe was suffering from hypothermia and frost bite. As he recovers at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, Jenner says she’s thankful she found him when she did.

"Glad it turned out okay,” Jenner said. “I just hope he's okay and hope his family is happy. I would be.”

On Tuesday, Friebe was listed in fair condition.

For more information on Friebe's story and to donate, visit his CaringBridge site by clicking here.