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Canadian Rangers rescue ice fisherman at Peawanuck

'We think he would have perished,' rescuer says

PEAWANUCK — A Canadian Ranger search party has successfully completed the rescue of an overdue First Nations fisherman near the Hudson Bay coast.

The incident happened late Monday, about 30 kilometres east of Peawanuck.

According to a spokesperson for the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, the man was in danger of dying in poor weather conditions that included wind chill of about -30 C.

Sgt. Matthew Gull, commander of the Peawanuck Ranger patrol, led the rescue.

"We don't think he would have survived the night. We think he would have perished for sure."

The man had called a relative on a satellite phone when he got into trouble returning to his home.

However, the signal was poor, and the message couldn't be clearly understood.

The man had given a friend a description of where he was going fishing.

The three-man search party located him but had trouble getting him to return to Peawanuck.

His behaviour was unusual and unpredictable, and caused difficulties for the Rangers.

"We had to go back three times to get him to join us," Sergeant Gull said.

Eventually they convinced the fisherman to let them take him home.

"In the end he was pretty appreciative somebody had come out looking for him. I'm glad we got him," Gull said.