KEY POINTS

  • Identities of deceased man and woman haven't been revealed
  • The woman last contacted her family Thursday 
  • The search operation began Friday night 
  • An investigation has been launched into the incident

The bodies of two hikers who plunged to death from an icy mountain cliff in Maine's Acadia National Park were recovered Saturday morning, following a massive air and ground search.

The park authorities, in a statement, said the man, 28, and the woman, 30, both from Rutland, Massachusetts, may have fallen about 100 feet along an ice-covered cliff on Dorr Mountain. The identities of the deceased have not been released, according to NBC News.

The duo arrived at Bar Harbor Tuesday and the last reported contact that the woman made with her family, through her mobile phone was around Thursday noon. She had reportedly called up to inform the family they were planning a hike to Cadillac Mountain.

The park authorities were informed about their disappearance Friday afternoon after family members failed to hear from them. The duo also did not check out of their hotel or return to their vehicle as per the schedule. 

The authorities initiated a search Friday evening involving a Coast Guard helicopter with thermal imaging. Although an extensive search was conducted along the Dorr and Cadillac Mountains for heat signatures, it failed to yield results. 

Their bodies were found Saturday morning by a 15-member volunteer team from the Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue on foot. The Maine State Police and National Park Service rangers have launched an investigation into the incident.

"All trails in Acadia are incredibly icy at this time due to recent rains followed by days of cold weather," Jay Elhard, a spokesman with the National Park Service told ABC News. "Hikers should be prepared for cold and icy conditions with extra layers of clothing and traction control devices," he added.

A few days ago, another hiker was rescued after slipping and falling from a steep and icy section of Acadia Park's Precipice Trail by an Army National Guard helicopter crew. He was seen clinging to a tree and sustained minor injuries during the fall.

In a similar incident, authorities had recovered the body of a man, suspected to be Kevin Doyle, the hiker who went missing at Storrs Lake Park in Wisconsin, last week. He was accompanied by two yellow Labrador retrievers, Ollie and Frank, whose remains were found near the lake. 

acadia-national-park Representational image Photo: Pixabay