Alder Flats, Alta. – The Breton RCMP coordinated search efforts with Parkland County, Brazeau County, Whitecourt and Rocky Mountain House on Sept. 14, 2020 after four adults were reported overdue. The Wetaskiwin County Peace Officer, Conservation and Parkland RCMP Detachment boats were utilized to assist.
On Friday, Sept. 11, three adult females departed Rocky Mountain House in a Zodiac boat with the intention of arriving at the Drayton Valley bridge on Sunday, Sept. 13. At 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 13, an adult male was dropped off near the river with the intention of locating the females at the site where they activated a SPOT beacon ping. At that time, communications were lost and there was no cell phone coverage in the area.
By 8:16 p.m. that evening, neither the male, nor the three females had returned to the area where the male was dropped off, and the RCMP were contacted to assist. EPS Air 1 was deployed to help, however poor weather conditions required it to terminate.
Early in the morning on Monday, Sept. 14, with the assistance of a family member, the RCMP coordinated with several different detachments and Search and Rescue teams. The four adults were eventually located at 3:00 p.m., in two different locations, near the North Saskatchewan River.
The females were in possession of a SPOT beacon which was instrumental in assisting the experienced Search and Rescue teams in locating them. The male was safely located approximately three kilometres away. All adults were deemed to be unharmed.
The RCMP want to thank all partner agencies who assisted, and acknowledge the pre-planning implemented by the boaters which led to a focussed and effective search. They had a shared plan, followed it, had appropriate gear for the weather and were in possession of safety equipment. All persons venturing into wilderness areas are encouraged to follow the above safety precautions.
-Submitted by Alberta RCMP