Michigan State Police rescue missing hunter suffering from hypothermia

Posted at 8:35 AM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-19 10:53:28-05

Michigan State Police rescued a lost hunter suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and hypothermia on Nov. 17.

Police say around 6:30 p.m., a hunter called Roscommon County dispatch reporting that a member of his hunting party had not returned to a meeting spot. The missing man was identified as Donald Sokol, a 59-year-old Ohio man.

Over the next several hours, the search party grew to seven troopers, two MSP K-9 units, one MSP sergeant, six DNR conservation officers and two Missuakee deputies.

Around 11 p.m., an MSP K-9 unit located Sokol and made verbal contact, but was on the opposite side of a deep waterway which they could not safely cross.

The MSP helicopter arrived on the scene and was able to maintain a visual on Sokol. The K9 handler was beginning to experience hypothermia symptoms and had to leave to woods to reeive treatment. 

MSP and DNR officers found Sokol in an exhausted, dehydrated and hypothermic state. They began removing wet clothing and built a fire to help warm him there at the scene. 

Once they determined he was too weak to walk out on his own and that the terrain was too difficult to carry him, assistance from a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was requested.

Upon arrival, the helicopter dropped a rescue basket and lifted Sokol, who was flown directly to the hospital where he was treated for dehydration and hypothermia. 

All involved troopers, deputies and officers were medically cleared.

View video of the rescue here: