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Two gold miners were rescued via helicopter from the rugged wilderness near Lake Tahoe Wednesday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Three friends had gone panning for gold Tuesday in the Sawtooth Ridge area, near the north fork of the American River, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said. One man returned to camp early, leaving the other two at the river.

The next day, investigators say the man was unable to contact his friends, Denny McCloud and Denny Jr.

Once the Sheriff’s Office reported the McLouds overdue, a CHP helicopter was sent to search from above. It found both men waving, the CHP said.

Denny and Denny Jr. were unharmed.