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Three missing men found

Jennifer McPhee
Northern News Services

Coppermine (Aug 19/02) - The Canadian Coast Guard rescued three stranded men Thursday morning after they failed to return from a hunting trip.

George Oniak, Carson Oniak and Martin Anablak left for a geese hunting trip on Barrens Island, about 50 kilometres northeast of Kugluktuk, last Tuesday evening.

After an hour of hunting, they started to return home by boat.

George Oniak said they noticed at that point they "weren't getting the power we should have been whenever we turned up the carburetor."

Then a thick fog started to roll in and the men decided to wait out the bad weather on the mainland.

When the fog lifted, around 3 a.m. the next morning, the outboard motor wouldn't start.

They tried in vain for two hours and then walked west, reaching a cabin about 7. a.m. About half a mile from the cabin, they scared a bear off.

"We were OK out there," said Oniak. "We just had to wait until someone from my family asked for search and rescue."

Before leaving, Oniak told his mother and a co-worker where he was going.

His mother contacted the police, who notified local search and rescue, the Coast Guard and the Canadian Forces.

On Wednesday, local search and rescue looked for the men. The men did hear one boat drive by. "Martin walked out of the cabin," said Oniak. "But it had already drove by ."

They were eventually found Thursday morning at 6 a.m. by a coast guard helicopter.