PHIPPSBURG, Maine — Following an hours-long search by dozens of firefighters, game wardens, and law enforcement personnel, a 17-year-old Massachusetts boy was located Tuesday evening lying on the ground several hundred yards from his campsite on Hermit Island.

The teen, a student with a private school group staying on the island as part of a week-long marine biology program, was last seen by school officials at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office was not notified of his disappearance until four hours later, Sheriff Joel Merry said Wednesday.

“They wanted to do some searching on their own,” Merry said. “They thought they were prepared to handle any and all situations involving their students.”

Merry, who arrived at the scene of the search at about 7:45 p.m., said school officials would not tell him the name of the school they were with, saying only that it was “a small school in Hadley, Massachusetts.”

Between 20 and 25 Phippsburg firefighters, sheriff’s deputies, local police, Maine Marine Patrol officers and Maine game wardens searched and shouted for the boy for about two hours before Cpl. Ian Alexander of the sheriff’s office and his police dog, Brix, found the boy curled up on the ground a few hundred yards from his campsite just before 9 p.m.

He was evaluated at the scene by emergency medical personnel and taken to Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick for further examination. Merry said he was later released to a parent.

“We are very fortunate that the canine unit was able to locate the young man,” Merry said in the release. “With cooling temperatures, his safety would have become an issue.”