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Missing man found after five-day search


A Big Trout Lake man was found alive Friday afternoon after being lost for nine days in the bush near there.

Robert Sainawap, 33, was spotted from an airplane around 4:50 p.m. on Friday, OPP S/Cst. R.D. Neelin said this morning.

Sainawap was about eight km south of the location of the trapline where he was dropped off back on Oct. 9--48 km south of the community of Big Trout Lake.

A search for Sainawap was started Oct. 15 after he failed to rendez-vous with a plane that flew in to pick him up. The plane was supposed to meet him Oct. 12 but weather prevented it from flying.

But S/Cst. Neelin noted the man wouldn’t have met the plane Oct. 12 any way. “It turns out he got lost on the 10th. So he was lost for five days before we even started looking for him,” he said.

“Apparently, he was turned around while tracking a moose and was walking around in circles trying to find his way back,” he added. “Once you get cold, it’s easy to get disoriented.”

Sainawap was taken via helicopter to the zone hospital in Sioux Lookout, where he was treated for frostbite on some of his extremities.

But S/Cst. Neelin noted the man otherwise was in “good shape.” “He knows how to get along in the bush,” he remarked.

The search party for Sainawap included volunteers from Big Trout Lake, Kasabonika, and Kingfisher Lake, who hired a helicopter, and was co-ordinated by the OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT) aided by an OPP helicopter, airplane, and two K-9 units.

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