A search for two men who were search and rescue rangers from Lac Brochet has ended with one man dead, and the other fighting for his life in hospital.

It was the brother of the dead man who found the pair.

Benji Denechezhe told CBC his 47-year-old brother, Alphonse, and another ranger, 40, set out by snowmobile on Friday to look for another man who had gone missing en route from Lac Brochet to Lake Wollaston, Sask.

But while that missing man was located safely, the rangers themselves went missing.

Denechezhe said though, no one realized it until three days later.

alphonse denechezhe

The body of Alphonse Denechezhe, 47, a veteran search and rescue ranger, was found by his brother, Benji, who set out to look for the two rangers Tuesday. (Facebook )

When he found out, he led a search team that set out Tuesday.

Denechezhe said the surviving man told him the two got stuck in the snow and slush, and decided to stay put overnight.

But the veteran rangers began to drink and fell asleep.

The younger man woke up and panicked and took off on the snowmobile they had both been on.

It ran out of gas, and he started to walk.

Denechezhe found him first. He is now in hospital in Winnipeg in critical condition. Both his feet are frozen.

Denechezhe found his brother's body 30 kilometers away.

He said the whole community of Lac Brochet is in shock. "Everybody's embracing," he said. "We're gathering strength, the family. It's pretty hard to find your own brother like that."

He said it's a tight-knit community.

In fact, the man whose disappearance prompted the search in the first place is Alphonse Denechezhe's brother-in-law.

RCMP said an autopsy will determine the cause of death.