A trapper from Fond du Lac is back at home with his family after being rescued by three Canadian Rangers and a police officer.
On Jan. 9 at approximately 9:20 a.m., the Fond du Lac RCMP were advised of a trapper who had not returned from home from checking traplines the day before near St. Claire Lake about an hour-and-a-half away. Canadian Rangers, along with local Const. Justin Deshaien, set out for the trapline on snowmobiles shortly thereafter and located the man on a trail about 30 kilometers north of Fond du Lac. His snowmobile had broken down.
“I’ve gone out with the Rangers before, but never in the bush like that,” Deshaien said. “We kind of had some information where he might have been from the family. There is a lot of trails out there and if it wasn’t for the Rangers, we wouldn’t have been able find him.”
Deshaien noted the man had been missing for around 24 hours before he was found, adding throughout the night temperatures were as low as -20 C with snowfall. The trapper was properly suited for the winter and had told someone he planned to leave for just the day. He was also found in good condition, did not require medical attention and was transported back to Fond du Lac. RCMP Search and Rescue, as well as the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, were preparing an air search of the area, but it was called off when the trapper was found.
While many people tend to prepare themselves for emergencies when travelling in the North, Deshaien said oftentimes they don’t let others know where they are going or when they’ll be back. He also recommends people carry satellite phones when doing such tasks like checking traplines, especially if they are several hours away with no cellular service. Deshaien mentioned the RCMP and Canadian Rangers work together on calls often.
“If it comes in as a missing person, we do take them very seriously because sometimes we don’t know the situations people can be in,” Deshaien said. “The older people still go out and trap, so there could be medical issues or like a snowmobile breaking down. We do get quite a few of these [calls] and we do respond.”
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