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OPP helicopter used to rescue hikers from ice floe in Georgian Bay

2021-02-22 OPP ice floe rescued hikers
Two hikers were rescued from an ice floe near near Tobermory on February 21, 2021.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in the Northern Bruce Peninsula utilized a number of resources – including Paramedic Services, Northern Bruce Peninsula Fire Department, Parks Canada, OPP Aviation Services, and a JRCC Hercules aircraft – to rescue two hikers from an ice floe in Georgian Bay.

A news release issued today by Grey Bruce OPP reports that the pair became stranded near Tobermory when the ice they were walking on broke away from shore.

A JRCC Hercules aircraft kept tabs on the hikers as an OPP helicopter was used to make the rescue nearly 3 kms from shore.

Full text of the OPP release follows:

NORTHERN BRUCE PENINSULA - The Grey Bruce Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to an incident on Feb. 21, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. at the Bruce Peninsula National Park on Cyprus Lake Road near Tobermory in the Northern Bruce Peninsula.

A pair of hikers had been walking on the ice near the park when a large piece of ice broke away from the shoreline leaving the hikers stranded, as this floating ice floe continued drifting out onto Georgian Bay.

Grey Bruce OPP were assisted at the shoreline by Bruce County Paramedic Services, Northern Bruce Peninsula Fire Department, Parks Canada and air support was provided by Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) from Trenton and OPP Aviation Services from Orillia.

A JRCC Hercules aircraft located the hikers and continued circling above, monitoring the situation from the air. The hikers had drifted almost 3 kms from shore when the OPP helicopter was able to hover above the hikers and make a daring ice rescue, returning both people safely to shore. There were no injuries.

Grey Bruce OPP Acting Inspector Debra Anderson praised the efforts of all of the involved emergency personnel.

"This was amazing teamwork by all of the involved services. Everyone worked together to safely rescue these hikers. This situation could have ended in tragedy.”

The Grey Bruce OPP remind hikers, snowmobile operators, all-terrain vehicle operators and fisherman that travelling on ice, especially on open bodies of water, is extremely dangerous. Please make sure that you check the weather conditions, the ice thickness, always dress for the weather, have a safety plan and travel with a partner.

The temperatures have really been fluctuating this winter, so use extreme caution when travelling and avoid unnecessary risks on the ice and near shorelines.