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3 snowmobilers safe after 2 separate rescues

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A snowmobiler from Superior, Wis., spent two days and nights in the bitter cold after his machine ran out of gas, but he survived -40 wind chill temperatures and was recovering at a Duluth hospital Monday, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

Craig W. Friebe, 52, hadn't been seen since Saturday morning. A plow operator in northwestern Wisconsin found him on the ice of the Nemadji River at about 8:50 a.m. Monday and called 911, the newspaper reported. He was taken in for treatment of frostbite and signs of hypothermia.

Officials said he had been able to make a fire on Saturday night, but not Sunday night when air temperatures plunged to -15 to -20 degrees, one of the coldest nights of the last few years.

It was the second snowmobiler rescue story of the weekend, the News Tribune reported. Two overdue snowmobilers from Hibbing were found Sunday morning after they got lost and spent the night in an unheated boathouse in Voyageurs National Park.

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