A group of tubers that had become stranded in the Belledune area have been located safe and sound following a lengthy overnight search through the woods by police and local volunteer firefighters.
On August 1, 2022, at approximately 11:30 p.m., members of the Chaleur Region RCMP detachment received a report that a group of five people had not returned from a tubing activity down Jacquet River, in Belledune.
The group of five, aged between 33 and 60 years old, began a tubing descent of the river around 1 p.m. that day. A few hours later, the tubers came to a long section of the river where the water was too low to keep floating downstream. The tubers decided to get out of the water and continued their way downstream on foot.
When night started setting in and the tubers had not returned as expected, a family member called police to report them missing. Police were able to make contact with the group, who had become disoriented in the woods and were not able to pinpoint their location. Members of the Chaleur Region RCMP and Belledune Volunteer Fire Department attended the area and organized search efforts.
Police and volunteer firefighters worked through the night to locate the lost tubers, who kept contact with RCMP telecommunication operators. The group was able to start a small fire and stayed in place waiting for help to arrive.
The next morning, at approximately 7:30 a.m., the group was located near the river bank. Although tired and cold, they were all uninjured and in good spirits. All five were transported out of the woods and assessed by Ambulance New Brunswick paramedics. No one required to be transported to hospital and all returned home.
"The banks of Jacquet River are at times treacherous, especially in the dark, so this search was no easy operation," says Sgt. Roch Lizotte with the Chaleur Region RCMP. "I want to commend the Belledune volunteer firefighters, who were in the woods with us all through the night. Their help was instrumental in locating the group safe and sound."
The New Brunswick RCMP would like to extend its thanks to the Belledune Volunteer Fire Department for their assistance.