GPS Used to Rescue Pair of Winnipeg Canoeists

Two Winnipeg men were rescued with the help of GPS Thursday morning after losing their bearings while canoeing on Lake Winnipeg.

RCMP say just before midnight on Wednesday, the men called 911 after becoming disoriented while canoeing in the area. They had entered the water at Breezy Bend at around 7 p.m.

A roughly four-hour rescue mission by multiple police and provincial agencies eventually located the man on the shores of the Netley-Libau Marsh. The men were wet and cold from flipping their canoe earlier and were extremely anxious, police say.

GPS coordinates from their location east of Petersfield, Manitoba were obtained both from 911 and their cellular provider. Due to nightfall and limited visibility, a zodiac boat was used to begin the rescue instead of a helicopter.

An RCMP officer kept up conversation with the men via cell phone to keep them calm until rescuers could reach them. The men were mosquito-bitten and wet, but otherwise found to be in good health.

Officials from the Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner, Search and Rescue Manitoba (SARMAN) and the Selkirk, Clandeboye and Matlock fire departments assisted RCMP in the rescue.