Northwest Territories RCMP say they coordinated three separate search and rescue operations for three stranded vessels and one missing boater on July 1.
According to a Thursday press release from RCMP, police in Yellowknife received the first call for help at approximately 11:50 a.m. A pontoon boat with seven passengers was stranded on the Northwest Arm of Great Slave Lake and taking on water.
RCMP said two vessels and seven volunteers from the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary were involved in the rescue. All passengers were brought safely back to Yellowknife and no one sustained injuries.
Yellowknife RCMP said they received a second call around 1:00 p.m. regarding a boat that had run aground by the Con Mine boat launch in Yellowknife Bay. Another vessel had collided with that boat and gotten stuck while trying to help.
The coast guard auxiliary responded with one vessel and three volunteers. RCMP say all four passengers and three dogs were rescued without injuries.
Brian McShane, unit leader with the Yellowknife Marine Rescue, said the boaters had operated their vessels in a safe manner, but had to request help due to weather conditions and high winds. He said these incidents are a good reminder to plan for the weather and be prepared for scenarios where help can not arrive quickly.
Finally, around midnight, Łutsël K’é RCMP, received a report of a missing boater who had left the community for Yellowknife.
According to the press release, community members prepared a search plan with local resources. RCMP also initiated a search and rescue operation with air support from the Joint Rescue Command Centre and the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association.
On the morning of July 2, the boater – who had made it safely to Yellowknife – reported to the local RCMP detachment. Due to weather conditions, the boater had decided to camp overnight.
The NWT RCMP is encouraging residents to keep safety in mind when boating and fishing and to check the weather, and carry a radio and navigation equipment. They also recommend sharing plans with a friend or family member, ensuring your boat is in working order, and bringing extra supplies in case of emergency.