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SUPERIOR - Despite what many feared would be a story with a tragic ending, a snowmobiler was found alive Monday morning after spending two nights in the cold.
Craig Friebe went missing on Saturday morning in a rural area of Superior.
"Oh what an adventure; this guy's lucky to be alive," Superior Fire Department Battalion Chief Vern Johnson said.
What started as a simple ride on a snowmobile Saturday morning in Superior quickly turned into a life and death struggle for 52–year–old Craig Friebe.
On Sunday, several agencies scoured the area where he was last seen on Saturday until daylight ran out.
"We were fearing the worst," Johnson said. "There were some spots they call locations of interest where fear of maybe he'd go into bay or whatever."
But luckily and incredibly, Craig was found alive Monday morning.
Rescuers say Craig was found off of County Road W near the Nemadji River.
A plow truck driver spotted him hunkered in the cold without any gloves on.
"Allegedly it was about 42 below out this morning in the area where he was found," Johnson said. "So it was even quite a bit colder than in town and to have it be that extreme and have him make it was really a miracle."
It was a miracle worth sharing and a reminder to play it safe.
"Number one, don't go out alone," Johnson said. "Going out alone is not good in any kind of severe weather, heat or cold or anything."
Rescuers said that when Friebe was found, he told them that his snowmobile ran out of gas and he began walking.
The first night he built a fire, but was unable to Sunday night.
Rescuers said he was found suffering from frost bite and hypothermia.
Friebe was listed in fair condition Monday night at Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth.