By Sue Tiffin
Two 62-year-old hikers were rescued after becoming lost in Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park on March 5, despite numerous challenges for OPP in the recovery.
At about 4:19 p.m. that day, Haliburton Highlands OPP responded to a call from a man saying that he and his wife were lost in the provincial park near Minden.
“The caller continued dialing 911 with updates, however, the cell phone reception was very poor,” said Iryna Nebogatova, OPP spokesperson.
OPP officers including an aviation team began searching the area, and located the two hikers but could not land due to the terrain and conditions. Emergency Response Team members then responded with OPP snowmobiles.
“Due to a water crossing, the ERT members had to walk for approximately 1.2 kilometres to locate the missing hikers,” said Nebogatova. The hikers were located in good health by ERT members.
On Twitter, OPP Central Region shared a video of the hikers being spotted from the air, noting that in an emergency, people should not panic; stop: sit, think, observe and plan; stay put to help reduce time and search area; seek shelter and stay warm, and signal for help.
“Whether your activity is during the summer or winter, on land or water, anywhere in Ontario, proper planning and emergency preparedness is crucial for your safety when planning outdoor activities,” said Nebogatova.