On the 11th of February 2015 shortly after 6 pm City Police received a 911 call from a citizen advising that he and a friend had been snowshoeing but due to the bad weather were lost in the woods.
The two males had started their walk in the area of Goulais Avenue around 12 pm.
Officers from Patrol Services responded to the call initially. Due to the circumstance officers from the Emergency Services Unit were sent to the area as well as Police Service Dog Justice. Sault Search and Rescue was also called.
A staging area was set up at Camp Korah and officers were able to obtain a gps coordinate from the caller’s cell phone. The two males were advised to stay where they were when officers spoke to them and to use the phone as little as possible as the power level on the phone was low.
Officers from the ESU Unit entered the wooded area on snow shoes. Snow machines from both the Police Service and the Search and Rescue were utilized.
During this time the weather conditions were deteriorating rapidly and due to the snow drifts rescue personal ended up using snow shoes as the snow machines were not able to maneuver well in the deep snow. Officers reported that the snow was over waist deep in areas and the conditions were described as harsh.
As the officers got closer to the area they believed the males were they began to shout out and were able to get responses back. Just before 10 pm officers located the two males who were able to walk out of the area with the officers to Brule Road.
Both males were fine and in good condition but were cold and hungry.
The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service and the Sault Search and Rescue regularly train so that they can assist and work together in situations such as this.
The two males were well dressed for the weather conditions and were both in good physical shape. They were also prepared in that they had a cell phone with them and knew enough to call and stay put in one area until the rescuers were able to locate them.
This incident is a good reminder that if you are going to venture out and enjoy the outdoors let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back. Make sure you are properly dressed for the weather conditions. Take water and portable food such as protein bars in the event something happens. Try and remain calm and keep your wits about you so that you don’t wander further. Take a cell phone and consider learning how to use a gps so that you don’t get lost in the woods.