Two male hunters who were overdue were located safe on March 13th, at portage 9 on Reid Lake area. The two hunters, both from Behchoko, were on a community caribou hunt and were staying at a base camp in the area of Spur Road, approximately 300 km on the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road.
They left the camp on Thursday, March 12th, travelling on two snowmobiles, and were expected back at their base camp in the evening.
At approximately 10:21 a.m., on Friday March 13th, Yellowknife RCMP received a report that they did not made it back to their camp. Community members were concerned as the two hunters are known for being very experienced on the land.
RCMP launched a search and rescue operation, with the assistance of Civil Air Search and Rescue Association and community members.
The GNWT Department of ENR, who were in the area, immediately deployed a search when they were notified of the overdue hunters. ENR located the hunters around noon at portage 9 on Reid Lake, safe.
“We are thankful the overdue hunters were located without incident, and are thankful ENR reacted proactively and assisted in the search. Any search and rescue operation is time sensitive critical and maintaining strong connections with our partners is a key element of success” states S/Sgt Yannick Hamel, Yellowknife RCMP Operations Manager.
With longer days ahead and spring break around the corner, the RCMP would like to remind people to be cautious when venturing outdoors:
- Carry a satellite phone, marine radio, emergency communications device or other means of communication, and know how to use them.
- Inform someone of your travel plans, where you are going, and when you plan to return.
- Carry emergency supplies and learn survival skills.
- Wear or carry suitable clothing and proper footwear – dress in layers to regulate body temperature and adjust to sudden changes in weather conditions.
- Pack extra clothing for protection from the elements – Hypothermia is a serious risk if you go out unprepared for the weather conditions.