A woman and her dog are lucky to be home safe after their weekend nature expedition turned into a rescue mission.
According to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), members of its Huronia West Detachment, along with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, helped rescue a stranded paddleboarder and her canine from the Nottawasaga River.
The woman, a 41-year-old resident from Essa Township, was planning to travel through the river to the Edenvale Conservation Centre shortly after 6:00 p.m. on July 10, 2022.
\u201c#HurWOPP reminds those who adventure out into remote areas to be prepared and plan trips within their abilities. This after a helicopter rescue on the Nottawasaga River Sunday. @springwatertwp ^en\u201d— OPP Central Region (@OPP Central Region) 1657658121
"Due to low water levels in some areas and unforeseen obstacles in others, the female was forced to portage in several areas, which caused her to become exhausted," the report states.
The paddleboarder and her pet had to stop and wait for assistance nearly halfway through their 20-kilometre trek.
A rescue operation was then launched by a worried family member and a good Samaritan who left Edenvale in a boat in an attempt to locate them.
"Due to shallow water, the rescuers were forced to abandon the boat and navigate the swampy regions by foot in the dark," it adds.
Thankfully, the stranded female was found several kilometres away. The group spent the night in the bush before being rescued and airlifted out by helicopter.
OPP is reminding residents that they are responsible for taking the proper precautions when travelling into remote areas and appropriately managing any risks associated with these recreational activities.
"Search and rescue operations can be complex, expensive and time consuming and involve multiple agencies who, themselves are put at risk," the police release concludes.