Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Hoax call triggers Lake Winnipeg rescue effort

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A Matlock-area man is facing charges over a Mayday call on Lake Winnipeg that resulted in a Hercules rescue plane being deployed out of 17 Wing in Winnipeg, before the call was determined to be a hoax, Winnipeg RCMP said this morning.

Around 10 p.m. Tuesday, Gimli RCMP were notified that a boat with 16 people had capsized, with 13 people thrown overboard into the waters of Lake Winnipeg.

RCMP called the coast guard and the Herc was deployed. Local fire and ambulance were staged to be on hand to transport the dozen or so who were reported to have been injured. By about 11 p.m., reports about the supposed accident had three boaters unaccounted for, lost in the lake at night.

The coast guard eventually located the boat and it turned out to have one occupant, a man from the Matlock area. That’s when authorities determined the call was a hoax and alcohol was involved.

"The good news is everybody is OK. The bad news is it’s a waste of resources," RCMP spokesman Corp. Miles Hiebert said.

History

Updated on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 1:12 PM CDT: Clarifies the search plane is dispatched from Trenton, but deployed out of 17 Wing in Winnipeg.

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