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Rescue In Saskatchewan

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this was in the regina leader post today... would have been nice if they had told us whose machine it was... but good show to whoever it was!! :up: B)




Latest News


Chopper rescues stranded canoeists


Julie Saccone

Saskatchewan News Network


July 30, 2005



As the fog parted and a rescue helicopter descended on a group of stranded canoeists waving their arms frantically in the air, a mangled aluminum canoe could be seen folded in half -- a sign a carefully co-ordinated search came in the nick of time.


"It was a textbook rescue, everything just went smoothly," civilian search manager Chris Rule said Friday.


A group of 10 people, including six adults and four children, became stranded on the bank of the Montreal River in the La Ronge district when their canoes become damaged after passing through a series of rapids.


"When they were overdue where they were expected, friends and family called the (RCMP), the search began and luckily it was very successful," RCMP spokesperson Heather Russell said.


According to Rule, the group departed for a canoeing trip along the Montreal River at Highway 2 Wednesday morning.


They were expected to reach their destination -- the Montreal River at Highway 165 later that evening, where a family member was to meet them.


The RCMP were called by 11 p.m. that day. A search team, comprised of the RCMP, along with a local volunteer search team, gathered by early Thursday morning and dispersed. Some heading to where the team began from, another to where they were to stop.


About 15 to 20 minutes after Chris Rule received the call from the RCMP, he called in a helicopter to help with the search.


"It's pretty wild country. Even though there are roads in that area, you have people on a river, we always plan for the worst, hope for the best," he said. "We didn't know if we would have to pull those people floating in the water, where they were, they could have been scattered several miles down the river and it's not navigable ... (so) our option, especially in the north is a helicopter."


When the group, without food or water, one canoe sunk in the water, the other folded in half, was found, they were ecstatic, Rule said.


The group had survived at least 12 hours stranded on the shore. "There were two smokers and one guy was able to dry out his lighter enough and they were able to get a fire going but they were still soaking wet," he said.


In a co-ordinated effort, the pilot made three trips to pluck out all the individuals. All did not sustain any serious injuries, Russell said.


"The message would be that people not familiar (with) where they're going should always go prepared, even if it's a three-hour cruise," he said. "Take matches, take some food and in this country, take clothing, (and) survival kits."

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