|One of the men plucked from a boat by a Cormorant helicopter on the weekend says had the team from 103 Search and Rescue from Gander not shown up, he doesn't think they would have made it through the night. Jamie Oldford, his brother Rodney and Andy Cook went hunting for turrs Saturday morning on Indian Bay. They towed their 16 foot open boat out over the ice and went out on the water. They were making their way back Saturday afternoon but couldn't get their boat through the ice.
Jamie Oldford says, at about 1,000 feet from shore, they got out of the boat to see if they could chop the ice themselves. They ran back to the boat after hearing a cracking sound.
They jumped in the boat but it went through the ice, leaving everyone soaking wet. Oldford says they got the motor going again and broke up some more ice but came up against tougher ice and became stuck again. Then the wind picked up, which caused the ice to back up around the engine.
Rodney and Andy had on snow suits, and Jamie was wearing a survival suit. They were wet and extremely cold, and only had a rubber coat for cover as they huddled together.
They did have cell phones to keep in contact with friends on shore, police and search and rescue. Oldford says they heard the Cormorant from 103 Search and Rescue approach but the crew didn't see their first flare. Oldford says they saw the second one, then saw the blinking lights of the helicopter hovering above. He was so very relieved when the SAR tech hoisted him up.
The three men were treated in hospital in Gander and released. Oldford says his brother and brother-in-law thank their rescuers and the people who helped them throughout the ordeal.