Rangers rescue stranded snowmobiler

LCol Matthew Richardson on a snowmobile.
“The Rangers went out in severe and potentially dangerous conditions and saved another life,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Richardson. Photo: Sergeant Peter Moon

Tags: | | |

By Peter Moon

Canadian Rangers rescued a stranded snowmobiler whose vehicle broke down near the Hudson Bay coast during a severe cold weather alert in early February.

“When we found him, it must have been 45 to 50 below with the wind chill,” said Master Corporal Mike Koostachin of Peawanuck, Ont.

The Ontario Provincial Police asked the Canadian Army for assistance when Marcel Metatawabin failed to show up at his home in Peawanuck after leaving Fort Severn by snowmobile; a trip of about nine hours.

The Army authorized the Rangers, who are part-time reservists, to begin the search for Mr. Metatawabin. Command posts were set up in Peawanuck and Fort Severn, and Rangers set out from the two isolated Cree communities on snowmobiles to look for the traveller.

The Ranger search team from Peawanuck found Mr. Metatawabin after several hours. He was stranded half way between Fort Severn and Peawanuck.

“I was trying to fix my machine after it had broken down for a third time when they turned up,” Mr. Metatawabin said. “I wasn’t worried. I had my tent, food, and a stove if necessary. I knew the Rangers would start looking for me after I had been out for something like 36 hours. You know you can depend on them to come and find you.”

The Rangers lit a fire and prepared a small hot meal to warm everyone up before taking Mr. Metatawabin to the nursing station in Peawanuck.

“Once again the Rangers did a great job,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Richardson, commanding officer of the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. “The Rangers went out in severe and potentially dangerous conditions and saved another life.”

(Sergeant Peter Moon is the public affairs ranger for the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group at Canadian Forces Base Borden.)

Date modified: