Lynn's Comments: An enormous Hercules Search and Rescue plane arrived from Alberta along with a helicopter and a Twin Otter outfitted with bulging Plexiglass side-windows where spotters would sit. They set up a military style office at the Lynn Lake airport. Enormous maps of the search area were put up on the walls. There were pilots, co-pilots, SARTECHS (search and rescue technicians), spotters, and others. Everyone was serious, focused, and prepared. What surprised me was the way they treated me. Rather than shooing me away, they sat me down and explained with kindness and courtesy exactly what they were doing and how the operation would proceed. I felt relieved and comforted. They knew exactly how to treat people in crisis and in shock. I was surprised by how coherent and calm I was.
Lynn's Comments: A false alarm set off by a geological research helicopter sent the Hercules rescue team in the wrong direction. With just the canoe for shelter, the lost men waited anxiously for signs of help. Every sound, the wind, the waves on the water, small movements in the brush, sounded like the engine of a plane. Rod had left specific instructions on where he would be, and couldn't understand why it was taking so long for help to arrive.
Lynn's Comments: What they wanted most was warmth, shelter and food. Nothing else was important. They just wanted to survive. It surprised them all to think that days beforehand, they had been thinking about luxuries. This experience changed them all.
Lynn's Comments: I don't remember the date. All I remember is that on the evening of the third day, the guys heard the sound of an aircraft. The first thing the Search and Rescue spotters saw were white parallel shapes under the surface of the water (not smoke). They had seen the pontoons of an overturned aircraft before. Technicians began to prepare for what they believed was the recovery of four drowned men, but something caught their attention on the shore. Overwhelmed and exhausted, the men had just enough energy to stand and wave as the Hercules circled overhead.
Lynn's Comments: This was the truth. If they hadn't had an old Bic lighter, a bit of Avgas, and some brush, they would not have survived. If the canoeists had not been so knowledgeable, they would not have survived, and if Tom had not kept record of their exact location, they would not have survived. They were lucky. It was a misadventure, which changed and mellowed all of us.