RCMP in Łutsël K’é were involved in three search and rescue operations for boaters reported missing on Great Slave Lake last week.
Police say in the first case, two adults, along with an 11 and three year old, were overdue for their arrival in Fort Reliance on August 4. They were reported missing on August 6, and were located soon after on an island in the East Arm of the lake where they were waiting out poor weather.
Also on August 4, four adults left Łutsël K’é for Yellowknife by boat expecting to arrive that evening. They were reported missing on August 6 and Łutsël K’é RCMP began a civilian air search and rescue operation.
The boaters were located drifting off Keith Island as a result of mechanical issues. A member of the public who had contact with the boaters reported their location.
Finally, on August 7, a boater from Łutsël K’é headed to Fort Reliance was reported missing. A search and rescue operation was started but called off when the boater safely reached their destination.
Police said no one was injured in the incidents.
None of the boaters had emergency communication devices with them.
RCMP is encouraging people to carry a radio, satellite phone and an emergency communication device with them when on the water. They also recommend boaters have navigation equipment, extra clothing, food, water, matches, flashlights, flares, fuel, medication, a first aid kit, and reflective clothing markers.
Boaters should have a plan including departure time, destination, intended return time, a list of who’s on board and identifying information about your vessel, police said, and share this plan with a family member or friend. Police also recommend monitoring the weather, ensuring your boat is in working order, and practicing emergency drills.
“The Great Slave Lake is a very large body of water, so we encourage any travelers to be prepared, carry communication devices, and let someone know when and where you are going,” NWT RCMP Sergeant Ken Beard was quoted as saying. “The safety tips we mention provide important information in assisting us in launching a Search and Rescue, so please follow them and travel safely.”
Boaters in need of help can dial 911 or contact Yellowknife RCMP at 669-1111.