Canadian Rangers And Volunteers Rescue Stranded Motorists On A Winter Road

Article / January 13, 2017 / Project number: c-ar-170113-rescue-secours

The Canadian Rangers, the iconic part-time army reservists of the North, from two remote indigenous communities, joined community volunteers to aid three stranded motorists on a temporary winter road.

The Canadian Rangers, hailing from Muskrat Dam and Sachigo Lake, established command posts in both communities and deployed rescue teams in trucks and on snowmobiles after a civilian vehicle and its three passengers failed to arrive at its destination.

The overdue vehicle had left Sachigo Lake to drop off a passenger at his home in Muskrat Dam, a drive that would normally take approximately two hours along the winter road.  However, the travelers did not arrive as expected in Muskrat Dam.  When they were four hours overdue, the police were notified and the Canadian Army authorized the use of the Rangers to conduct a search for them. At the time, the winter road was in poor condition with light snow and the temperature roughly -21˚C with a wind chill of -30˚C.

Six Sachigo Lake Rangers headed south on the winter road while three Rangers from Muskrat Dam headed north to look for the missing vehicle.  Four community volunteers from Sachigo Lake also joined the search, and they found the truck, minutes before the Rangers arrived. The truck did not have four-wheel drive and it had skidded off the road, becoming stuck in deep snow. With the assistance of the Canadian Rangers, the stranded vehicle was pulled free and escorted back to Sachigo Lake. The three motorists were unharmed.

“It’s the new year and this shows we’re ready for it, that we’re ready and able to help our communities in Northern Ontario,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Richardson, the officer commanding 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, which commands the 630 Canadian Rangers in 23 First Nation across the Far North of Ontario. “We did 23 rescues last year. We have standard operating procedures firmly in place for search and rescue and the Rangers are trained to respond to these situations. Once again, they did a good job in a potentially dangerous situation. We appreciate the assistance of the community volunteers.”

By Sergeant Peter Moon, public affairs ranger for 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group.

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