Search underway for missing snowmobiler from Swanton

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SWANTON — The Vermont State Police and multiple other agencies are searching for a man who went missing while snowmobiling late Monday afternoon, near the border of Highgate and Swanton.

State police were contacted at about 6:50 p.m. Monday by the girlfriend of Michael Rich, 39, of Swanton.

She reported that Rich and a friend, Rahel Barrows, 51, had been out snowmobiling when their sleds went through the ice on a creek near Lake Champlain at about 4:15 p.m. in the vicinity of Platt Road in Highgate.

Both individuals were able to get out of the water and reach a vacant nearby camp.

Rich eventually made his way to the home of his girlfriend, where he retrieved another snowmobile and set off in the direction of the camp. That snowmobile was later found abandoned with its hood up near the original break in the ice.

Troopers from the St. Albans barracks along with fire and rescue personnel began a search of the area and located Barrows unhurt in the cabin.

Search efforts including a DHART helicopter on scene overnight were unsuccessful in locating Rich.

Search efforts are continuing today with various units from the Vermont State Police and other agencies.

Anyone with information about this incident or the whereabouts of Rich are being asked to call 802-524-5993.