Forest fire smoke disorients boaters near Edzo, N.W.T.

Two men are safe after they lost their bearings Saturday night in forest fire smoke while seadooing on a body of water near Edzo, N.W.T.

2 men are safe after getting lost in the smoke while seadooing near Franks Channel

Two men are safe after a spending a miserable night on an island near Edzo, N.W.T.

They lost their bearings in forest fire smoke while seadooing on a body of water in the area.

At about 10 p.m. Saturday, RCMP received a call that said two men were missing after departing from Franks Channel on their seadoo. 

Glen Blondin, 28, and Kenneth Richardson, 24, cousins from Behchoko, say their seadoo's engine got mud in it and started to sink. 

Glen Blondin, 28, and Kenneth Richardson, 24, cousins from Behchoko, were stranded on an island from Saturday night to Sunday morning after their seadoo got mud in the engine and started to sink. Blondin says since this was an incident he won't forget, he figured it was "selfie time" once they got to that island. (Courtesy Glen Blondin)
They moved ashore to an island near Old Fort Rae, but couldn't tell exactly where they were because of smoke from nearby forest fires. That's when they contacted family members asking for help. 

The Behchoko fire department and search and rescue team, as well as RCMP, the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association and the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary all took part in the search. 

The search continued throughout Saturday night and into Sunday morning. That night, Blondin and Richardson only had two chocolate bars and a bottle of water. They say they built a fort and walked in circles to fend off mosquitoes until they were found. 

They didn't have a lighter or matches but tried to create some sparks.

"Rock to rock, tools to rocks, didn't get that going, so we tried rubbing two sticks together, still didn't work, too much bugs to even concentrate on doing something," Blondin said.

Blondin said they were relieved when family members found them that morning

"We could hear boats cruising around, but the smoke's too thick to see us, we heard this one boat stop, so after that our voices were pretty much shot already, from yelling all night," Blondin said.

"So once we heard that motor stop, we gave'er all we had, yelled at the top of our lungs, whistling like crazy, next think you know that motor started, we could hear it coming towards us, that was a big relief."

They were treated by paramedics and released at the scene, then headed home for some cheeseburgers and hotwings.

The RCMP are warning people about the heavy smoke in some areas of the territory, as reduced visibility can be very dangerous.