- Story was originally published on May 31, 2010.
A man stranded in the bush in northern Saskatchewan was rescued last week after chopping down four power poles — knocking out electricity to surrounding communities.
The incident left several hundred people in Wollaston Lake and Hatchet Lake Denesuline Nation without power for more than 30 hours, but it paved the way for a man to be saved by a SaskPower crew.
"He was found under his boat in a very distressed state, so essentially he was stranded for a number of days and just desperate for people to know where he was," SaskPower spokesman James Parker said.
The man reported he had been on a boat on the lake when he hit bad weather. He ended up stranded in the bush, with no way to communicate with the outside world, Parker said.
But he had an axe and he knew SaskPower would have to check the downed line, so he went to work.
"Essentially it was mission accomplished, because we got the call, we chartered a helicopter … and on Friday around noon we discovered him," Parker said.
The Crown utility is still investigating what happened.
'Essentially he was stranded for a number of days and just desperate for people to know where he was.' - SaskPower spokesman James Parker
Occasionally, it tries to recoup damages from vandalism, but in this case it is taking the circumstances into account, Parker said.
Meanwhile, there are some unhappy residents after the surrounding communities went without power for two days, Hatchet Lake Denesuline Nation band councillor Ed Benoanie said.
"I think a lot of people are pretty upset about it," he said. "They were just shocked."
Anybody traveling in unfamiliar territory in the north should carry a survival kit, including matches, he said.
"The best thing is, stay where you are and build a big bonfire," Benoanie said.