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Father, sons found safe the day after running out of gas while off-roading in Tooele County

Posted at 6:03 PM, May 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 00:51:45-04

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — A man and his sons were rescued Sunday after their off-road vehicles ran out of gas, forcing them to spend a night in the Utah desert.

The father and his two boys, ages 9 and 11, went on a ride in the Knolls Off-Highway Vehicle Special Recreation Management Area in Tooele County around 6 p.m. Saturday.

According to Tooele County Sheriff Paul Wimmer, their family called for help after the group didn't return that night from what was supposed to be a relatively short and quick ride.

READ: Salt Lake County sees increase in search & rescue calls

After searching into the night, they resumed their efforts Sunday morning.

The Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter first spotted the ATV and two small dirt bikes from the air about 50 miles from the family's camp. The man and boys were later found on foot — safe, but dehydrated. They were brought back to the base camp by helicopter.

Officials believe the group got lost, ran out of gas, then left the vehicles behind and walked back toward camp.