Busy time for Yukon rescuers

Yukon RCMP were involved in two different search and rescues in the last five days. The first happened on Sunday, Sept.

Yukon RCMP were involved in two different search and rescues in the last five days.

The first happened on Sunday, Sept. 21 when police and search and rescue volunteers in Whitehorse found a 16-year-old who had wandered off into the bush west of Fox Creek.

At approximately 3:30 p.m., rescuers were alerted after the teen’s father flagged down a passerby and asked to call police.

Searchers were dispatched along with a police services dog and other RCMP officers to scour the area.

The teen was found hours later. He was disoriented but unhurt.

Two days later, in Mayo, RCMP located and rescued two overdue hunters from Whitehorse.

On Sept. 23 at 2:30 p.m. Mayo RCMP got a call about two hunters who were supposed to have made it home the day before.

“The Mayo RCMP immediately chartered a helicopter and searched the length of the Stewart River while there was still available daylight, but did not locate any sign of the men or their boat,” police said in a news release.

“Search efforts were renewed at first light on Sept. 24, which involved police watercraft from both Mayo and Dawson City detachments, as well as friends of the missing men who came up from Whitehorse to assist.”

Just before noon on the 24th, RCMP tracked down one of the men.

He had found shelter in a cabin approximately 20 kilometres north of the McQuesten River. The second man was trying to walk to safety. Police found him a short time later.

Neither of the men required any medical attention. They told their rescuers that they had run out of fuel.

The pair was brought back to their vehicle in Stewart Crossing and reunited with friends who helped to find them.

Police note that the men were not carrying a SPOT beacon or satellite phone that would have been able to tell rescuers exactly where they were.

On top of that, police say the two men appeared to have changed their plans at the last minute as to where they were planning on launching the boat from, “requiring police to consider more than one potential starting point,” RCMP said.

“The RCMP would like to thank the volunteers who came up and assisted us with this situation, and Fireweed Helicopters for making themselves available on such short notice,” said Mayo detachment commander Cpl. Chris Hutchings.

“This incident illustrates the importance of ensuring you have satellite phone, SPOT beacon or some other means of signalling your position and a distress call when you are travelling in the backcountry. We are just thankful that this incident was successfully resolved with everyone returning home safely.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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