North Bay Police Service
At 12:53Pm on Sat 19th Nov a woman contacted 911 reporting that her friend a 23yr old woman from Toronto had phoned from a cell phone and told her that she was lost somewhere north of Duchesnay Falls. She had left Duchesnay Falls at 8:00AM for a walk dressed in light clothing.
North Bay Police dispatched a total of 9 officers for a ground search of the area and contacted the woman on her cell phone that was quickly losing power.
BAYSAR (Search and Rescue) were notified and they advised they would have a plane in the air ASAP. An ATV unit was requested from the OPP and a Canine unit was also made available.
At 2:42PM the BAYSAR aircraft located the woman and officers were guided to her by 3:10 PM. She was uninjured and in good health.
This was an example of a co-operative quick response by two police services and a volunteer organization that resulted in the successful conclusion to a potentially bad situation.
Details from BAYSAR President Stan French:
“Early afternoon Saturday, at 13:30, Tom Wilson (Training Officer and liaison with NBPS) received a call from the city police to ask if BAYSAR could assist with a search for a woman who was lost hiking along Duchesnay Creek. She called for help on her cell phone and although the police were able to get a general idea where she was from triangulating the call, they wanted help to locate her and find a way to get her out.
BAYSAR was available with a crew and aircraft so we accepted the mission. Stan French was the pilot, Tom Wilson was the Navigator, and Emil Jansen was the spotter. The aircraft used is a privately owned Cessna 172.
Police met us at the BAYSAR HQ before the flight to get a briefing and set up our coms. We were in the air in less than an hour after the first call from the police (time of take off 14:27).
With the search area being so close, we were on search almost immediately. We started at Canadore and went down to the base of the creek. We then went up the creek to the west. On our next pass down the main part of the creek (a little further east), we spotted the woman standing on a small sand spit in the middle of the creek waving a blue piece of clothing (maybe a scarf). We were able to contact police via radio and give them the position. We then stayed on scene orbiting the area so the woman knew she was found until the police got close enough to make voice contact. We then had to leave the area so the noise of the a/c did not interfere with the ground team’s efforts to close in based on the sound of her voice.
We came back in every once in a while to help bring the police to the woman then we would orbit to the north, out of the way.
After she was found and being escorted out, the OPP helicopter arrived and we were released and returned to land at YYB. All in all, a very successful afternoon.
BAYSAR (North Bay Air Search and Rescue) is a non-profit, volunteer organization that has helped serve the area’s SAR needs for over 20 years.”
By Kate Adams
Monday, November 21, 2011