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Search finds overdue boat

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services

Hay River (Sep 25/02) - An overdue fishing boat headed from Yellowknife to Hay River recently prompted a search on a stormy Great Slave Lake.

The vessel was located near Fort Resolution and eventually made its way safely to Hay River.

The 50-foot Kanoosao left Yellowknife about 11:30 a.m. last Wednesday and was scheduled to arrive in Hay River about midnight that day.

According to Staff Sgt. Jack Kruger of the Hay River RCMP, the two crewmembers on the boat basically got lost.

The boat ended up at anchor in the lee of Loutit Island six miles off Fort Resolution, about 54 nautical miles east of Hay River.

It was located by a search plane on Thursday.

Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Fort Resolution got to the boat on Saturday, and it was determined that the two Hay River men were in good shape.

Kruger says the crewmembers, who were crossing the lake without the vessel's captain, were unfamiliar with operating the radio and the global positioning system.

"They weren't certain where they were," he says.

The boat did not have engine trouble.

Kruger says it wasn't very prudent for the two men to attempt to cross Great Slave Lake given their experience and the weather conditions at the time, which he described as fairly breezy with a wind out of the northwest. "This is a dangerous side of the lake."

On Saturday, the two men followed the shoreline and brought the vessel into Hay River.