The sun was setting and rescuers had exhausted efforts to locate a missing father and son who had gone out rafting on Miquelon Lake. But instead of calling off the search for the night, they requested the assistance of the Edmonton Police Service Air 1 helicopter.
At 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, July 11, 2020,
Camrose RCMP received a call from a woman who reported that her 40-year-old husband
and nine-year-old son went onto Miquelon Lake in an inflatable tube and had not
been seen or heard from for several hours.
The Camrose / Wetaskiwin RCMP coordinated
an immediate search of the area with the assistance of the RCMP Police Dog
Services, Camrose County Fire Services, Miquelon Lake Provincial Park staff, as
well as volunteers. Two boats also
participated in the search but were hampered due to low water levels and
At approximately 9:30 p.m., with sunlight
and hopes fading, the RCMP requested the assistance of the EPS Air 1 helicopter
as their helicopter was unavailable at that time.
The EPS Air 1 helicopter is often called
out to help search for missing persons in the Edmonton region – not only because
of its unique vantage point from high above, but for its state-of-the-art GPS
navigational overlays and enhanced digital camera / infrared system, which can
quickly pinpoint individuals and direct resources on the ground to that
Despite heavy winds that evening, Air 1 was
over the lake a short time later and located the missing rafters within minutes
The two rafters were stranded across the
lake on a shoreline about three kilometres north from where they went
missing. They were standing in a marsh area
surrounded by dense bush with the nearest road over a kilometre away, so the
flight crew decided to land Air 1 nearby and pick them up to expedite the
The father and son were wearing only their
swimsuits and t-shirts, and were feeling the effects of the cold and numerous
bug bites. They explained that they lost
their paddle, became disoriented, and had to wait for assistance.
Air 1 was able to return the two safely to
the Miquelon Lake Park Site where they were treated by EMS and reunited with grateful
The enhanced capabilities of the Air 1
helicopter make it a vital part of the Edmonton Police Service, and helps provide
a greater level of safety and support to the public and first responders. Air 1 responds to over 3,000 calls annually,
including calls to assist Edmonton Fire Rescue and the RCMP.