Three Children Found Safe In Croatan National Forest

Three young children were found safe after they spent hours Monday lost in the Croatan National Forest.

Captain Jason Wank with the Carteret County Sheriff's Office says the boys are 10, 13 and 14 years old.

He says they were safely found around 4:40 p.m.

Wank says the three boys went into the forest around 10:30 a.m. at a mud bog near Newport where trucks race on the weekends. They brought a phone with them and called 911 about 1:00 p.m. Wank says authorities started searching for the trio by foot and with four-wheelers

Around 4:00 p.m. a private helicopter and PEDRO from Cherry Point began looking for them as the search intensified.

Wank says the private helicopter first spotted the boys and PEDRO landed and rescued them. That helicopter then brought them to a nearby staging area.

Wrapped in a blanket, one rescuer carried the youngest boy to an awaiting ambulance while the other two walked on their own. Captain Wank says they're all okay, just a little cold.

Jason Nelson is the father of the oldest boy. "With the amount of people looking for them, I really wasn't--I was worried, but not that worried," Nelson told WITN. "I just wanted to make sure they found them. Of course, I wasn't going to stop. I would have been out in the woods until tomorrow if I had to, but fortunately we didn't have to do that."

The two other boys are sons of Nelson's fiance.

Carteret County did not have school today because of President's Day.