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Subdeacon Joe

Amazing Kids

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Four boys who went missing for more than a day during a blizzard in rural Alaska were found alive on Monday, and were resourceful when it came to protecting the youngest and most vulnerable to the elements.

 

The children, who range in age from 2 to 14, were found about 20 miles outside the village of Nunam Iqua, on Alaska's west coast, a representative with Emmonak Search and Rescue told CNN by phone Monday night.

 

"The kids are doing fine," the representative said. "I talked to the grandpa. They were cold and hungry."

The boys reportedly huddled around the youngest boy.

 

They dug a foot-deep hole in the snow and huddled themselves inside and positioned themselves in a way so that the 2-year-old wouldn't be as exposed, according to Alaska Public Media.

“They were protecting the baby,” rescuer Herschel Sundown told the news outlet.

 

When asked how the children got so far from their village during the blizzard, the official noted, "In winter time our storms are very bad. Sense of direction is not to be played with."

Alaska State Troopers received a report Sunday at 6:25 p.m. local time that the children hadn't returned from a snow-machine ride near the remote, rural village of Nunam Iqua.

Officials were called after the boys were more than five hours late in returning home.

"At least three were appropriately dressed for the weather," said state patrol spokesperson Megan Peters at the time of the search. "There's concern for their safety."

There were winter storm warnings in effect throughout the region at the time state troopers were alerted, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.

The National Weather Service warned of wind gusts as high as 60 mph, and wind chills as low as 45 below zero, which can "cause frostbite in as little as 10 minutes to exposed skin," the NWS said in its Sunday afternoon advisory.

The four children were identified as Christopher Johnson, 14, Frank Johnson, 8, Ethan Camille, 7, and Trey Camille, 2.

Army National Guard and USCG helicopters were called in Sunday to assist, but blizzard conditions hampered visibility.

Nunam Iqua has an estimated population of about 200 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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