On July 10, 2021, at approximately 10:30 pm, Thompson RCMP received a report that two boaters were stranded near an unnamed lake 53 kilometres south of Thompson, Manitoba, situated three kilometres west of Highway 6. It was reported that the boaters had lost their boat that they had used for transportation to their camp.
Officers tried to access the boaters by using a snowmobile trail near the approximate location provided. However, due to swampy terrain and a dead end of water, they were unable to traverse the area. RCMP contacted conservation officers and Park Patrol for Paint Lake Provincial Park, who were able to provide an alternate route.
RCMP officers, conservation officers, and Park Patrol trekked over a beaver dam and hiked for approximately three kilometres through bush to the unnamed lake. The rescue team then located two canoes, a boat, and paddles that belonged to local civilians. RCMP, conservation officers, and Park Patrol then saw a light across the lake. They paddled approximately one kilometre to this light and located the boaters in good health. No medical attention was required.
The two males, aged 51 and 55, from Thompson, were escorted back across the lake and all were able to trek back to Highway 6.
"You can't get much more Canadian than this rescue, with beaver dams, canoes, and Mounties," said Inspector Chris Hastie, Thompson RCMP Detachment Commander. "In all seriousness, though, this rescue highlights the unique demands placed on officers who work in Manitoba's north. I am very glad we were able to get there and assist the stranded boaters and that everyone got home safely. I would also like to thank our policing partners – Manitoba Conservation and Park Patrol – for providing operational support and local knowledge in traversing this rough wilderness. Help is there when we need it so that we can help others."