Scramble to rescue NWT hunters after messaging device fails

Two hunters northwest of Fort Smith had to be rescued after their ATVs experienced mechanical trouble and their messaging device stopped working, leaving them out of contact.

The two men, who have not been identified, were reported overdue on Saturday evening, two days after they last sent a message from their emergency communication device.

In a news release, police said it was established that the hunters were in an area known as Grand Detour, around 90 minutes’ snowmobile ride from the town.


A helicopter search began the next morning when light allowed, with help from local Canadian Rangers.

The two hunters were located “in good health” at a cabin, having found shelter once the ATVs experienced trouble, police said.

However, they both believed they had been sending messages regularly. In reality, police said, only one message got through.

“We are thankful the individuals were found in good health. As their messages were not being received, this highlights the necessity of checking that all equipment is in good working order,” said Staff Sergeant Ken Beard.

“This also highlights the benefits of leaving a detailed plan with a trusted person.”