Rescued berry picker, 89, recovering at home in Rapid View, Sask.

An 89-year-old woman who braved bears and cool temperatures after getting lost in northern Saskatchewan is recovering at home.

Search plane spotted her northwest of Meadow Lake, Sask.

Searchers spent Saturday and Sunday looking for an elderly woman who had gone missing after picking berries. (Saskatoon Search and Rescue/Facebook)

An 89-year-old woman who braved bears and cool weather after getting lost in northern Saskatchewan is recovering at home.

Alice Gobert was tired but in good health after being found in the forest by searchers on Sunday. 

They learned she had slept under a pine tree, followed a bear at one point and spent 16 hours by herself in the wilderness. She's now resting up at her home in Rapid View.

An 89-year-old woman has been found alive and well after going missing northwest of Meadow Lake for 16 hours.

She had gone out picking blueberries on Saturday about 48 kilometres north of Meadow Lake. She was with her family, but they lost contact with her in the dense bush.

She didn't have a cellphone or any other way of contacting them.  When they couldn't find her, they called police.

No response to beeping horn

Gobert's daughter-in-law, Cindy Gobert was with her before she disappeared.

"The sun was starting to go down, so I went to the car and emptied my container and looked around for her, which I thought she was around, and I couldn't see her," Cindy Gobert said.

She called for her mother-in-law, blew her car horn and drove around looking for her. After searching with other family members for an hour or more she called 911.

A ground search was started, involving a police dog, fire and rescue, civilians and a plane.

Police made the family stay with their vehicles so their scent would not throw off the search dogs. They remained with their vehicles until around 2 a.m. CST, when police made them go home.

The woman spent the night in the forest, dressed in nothing heavier than a sweater. During the night the temperature in the area reached a low of 7 C with heavy fog.

Fortunately, the Meadow Lake area was spared the torrential rain that affected much of southern Saskatchewan.

Spotted by plane along forest cutline

On Sunday her family took part in a ground search. By mid-afternoon that day they got word that the missing woman had been found.

About 16 hours into the search, people in the plane spotted the woman walking along a cutline in the forest, about six kilometres from where she was last seen.

She was checked over by paramedics, but suffered no ill effects, and today is back with her family.

"We went back to her house and the ambulance brought her there," Cindy Gobert said. "They brought her to the house on a stretcher, and I saw her, and I gave her the biggest hug."

She added, "she looked tired and grubby but she was happy to be home."

Slept under pine tree, followed bear

Cindy Gobert said her mother-in-law told her she had simply gone off in the wrong direction. During her night lost in the bush she slept under a pine tree. She also followed a bear.

"Because my husband was telling me that she figured a bear had more sense where to walk, because she was walking through some bog," Gobert explained. "And there was water there. So she followed the bear."

The missing woman threw away the berries she had picked. She said she could not grab onto branches to make her way around the bog, and hang onto the berries at the same time. She also did not have her water bottle with her.

Today Cindy Gobert is taking some of her blueberries over to her mother-in-law.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.