A conservation officer rescued a local trapper who was suffering mild hypothermia and frostbite after his snowmachine got stuck in slush.
The trapper was rescued on Trout Lake, 40 km northeast of Red Lake, by James Guise, who works out of the Ministry of Natural Resources office in Red Lake.
Guise was on routine patrol Jan. 22, when he followed snowmachine tracks onto Trout Lake. He saw air holes and slush pockets in the ice before finding equipment, an abandoned sleigh, and then the stranded trapper.
The trapper’s snowmachine was filled with slush ice and he was soaking wet from trying to free it. Even if he could have made it to his cabin, 25 km away, there was no vehicle there to get him out of the bush.
Guise helped the trapper, who was alone on the lake, free the machine to prevent it freezing up.
The trapper was suffering from mild hypothermia and frostbite to his face by the time Guise got him to Red Lake.
The ministry reminds the public that ice conditions have been precarious this winter and many lakes have not frozen to a thickness necessary for safe travel.
Snowmobilers should be aware of ice conditions and travel in pairs when conditions are poor. They also should let others know where they are and when they will be returning, and be prepared to deal with hypothermia.
A satellite phone or radio also would be helpful.