Ontario Canadian Rangers kept busy completing two successful search-and-rescues

Canadian Ranger instructors now qualified as swiftwater rescue technicians
Ten members from the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (3CRPG) spent three days in Parry Sound recently plunging into the chilly and fast-moving Magnetawan River as they refreshed their swiftwater rescue skills at Cody Rapids. Image - Canadian Rangers supplied

By Ranger Chris Vernon

Thunder Bay – Members of the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (3CRPG) were kept busy recently completing two successful ground search-and-rescues in two far north First Nation communities.

On Aug. 29, Canadian Rangers were activated to search for two youths in the Cree community of Fort Severn First Nation.

The pair were reported overdue by 24 hours, and although both were experienced on the land, they were not equipped or dressed for the elements.

The teens were out on two ATVs during a large rain storm the night before, according to Canadian Ranger Corporal Laurinda Miles who participated in the search.

The teens were located a short time later by members of 3CRPG in good health and returned to the community.

“The search was pretty easy and simple. They were just going slow to allow their stuff and clothes to dry out from the rain,” said Cpl. Miles.

Then on Sept. 3, Rangers were activated in the Cree community of Peawanuck near the Hudson Bay coast to search for two female hunters in their early 20s.

According to Peawanuck patrol Sergeant Matthew Gull, the pair were using snow machines to hunt in the soft, wet, swamp-like muskeg common in the area when one machine stopped working after getting stuck in a small creek.

“They managed to get it out but couldn’t start it and one of them sent out a message to family via Inreach who then contacted us,” said Sergeant Gull.

When Rangers first came on the scene no one was there, but when the Rangers were returning to Peawanuck they found the pair, however the women no longer required assistance as the waterlogged snow machine had dried out and was again running.

Ontario’s Canadian Rangers are predominantly First Nation who are skilled and accustomed to working outdoors in remote areas. They are a sub-component of the Canadian Armed Forces reserve force, primarily serving in remote and coastal First Nation communities in Canada.

Today, Canadian Rangers conduct surveillance in Canada’s remote areas, sovereignty patrols, search-and-rescue, disaster relief, and training of other armed forces personnel with survival skills.

Last year, Ontario Rangers participated in 21 ground search-and-rescue missions, rescuing 31 people, including two stranded truckers on an ice road, an injured Attawapiskat First Nation snowmobiler, and two young hunters whose all-terrain vehicles broke down, leaving them stranded about 100 kilometres away from their communities.

3CRPG is headquartered at Canadian Forces Base Borden, near Barrie, Ont.

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