RCMP rescue tourists led astray by GPS in Cape Breton

A man and woman travelling through the Cape Breton Highlands by car had to be rescued after their GPS sent them in the wrong direction and they became stuck in the snow.

Man and woman called 911 after becoming stuck on 'virtually impassable' road, police say

A man and woman from Halifax who were travelling through the Cape Breton Highlands by car Saturday afternoon had to be rescued after their GPS sent them in the wrong direction and they became stuck in the snow.

"Unfortunately the GPS gave them a road that is virtually impassable," said Cpl. Andrew Joyce, media relations officer for Nova Scotia RCMP. 

"Even in the summertime, it's known by the locals there as not a road you would recommend anyone to take for the points they were looking to access."

Their vehicle was stranded on Highland Road. RCMP were called to the scene at 12:50 p.m.

Cold and low on supplies

It was a very cold day at -17 plus windchill. The man and the woman were low on fuel, didn't have much food or water and were in an area that had spotty cell phone reception. But they managed to call 911.

"They entered via Inverness and I think were looking to go to the Cabot Trail in the Ingonish area. They travelled quite a ways along that road before they got stranded," Joyce said.

A front-end loader was called in to help police get to the tourists. It took 2.5 hours to get to the vehicle because there was so much snow, as much as two metres deep in some places.

'Quite a journey'

"It was an eight-kilometre trek in (for police) so it we're not talking a couple a hundred metres. It was quite a journey," Joyce said.

Police were able to get to the tourists and the front-end loader towed their vehicle out to a main drag.

The tourists were OK and their vehicle was undamaged, but Joyce said their situation "could have been a lot worse." 

"If the cell phone service was not working at the time, it could have been a tragic event. There's no doubt about that," Joyce said.