Thunder Bay

Man, 61, found safe after 45 hours in bush near White River, Ont.

A 61-year-old man was found safe Sunday after spending nearly 45 hours in the bush near White River, Ont., over the long weekend.

Canine unit tracked man through the bush overnight until he was found Sunday morning, provincial police say

An Ontario Provincial Police canine unit, such as Cinch and his handler Cst. Jeff Poperechny, were instrumental in the successful search for a 61-year-old man who spent 45 hours in the bush near White River, over the long weekend. (OPP)

A 61-year-old man was found safe Sunday after spending nearly 45 hours in the bush near White River, Ont., over the long weekend.

Finding the man alive after two nights in the woods was "awesome" said Cst. Trevor Tremblay of the Superior East Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), adding there is an important lesson to be learned from this survival story.

"Always tells someone where you're going because if we don't have a point last seen it makes it extraordinarily difficult to even start the search," said Tremblay.

"There's a lot of territory up here that, if we have no idea where to start, it could take us that much longer to locate you."

Officers were notified around midnight Saturday about a person who had gone missing in the area, after being last seen around 1:30 p.m. on May 15, OPP stated in a written release Tuesday.

The OPP emergency response team, aviation service and canine unit assisted in the search, with the dogs tracking the man for hours through the woods, said Tremblay.

The man's truck was found 11 km east of Highway 631 on the 500 Road with a single set of footprints leading into the surrounding forest, he explained.

"In any case when we call the canine unit, they love when we have the point last seen, so in this case they found his truck parked on a bush road off Highway 631 and they saw footprints," said Tremblay.

"We're not following the footprints, because as soon as an officer follows the footprints, or someone else, it messes with the scent, so the canine unit shows up and the dogs pick up on the scent," he said.

The canine unit spent the night in the bush looking for the man, who was found just after 10 o'clock Sunday morning in good health.

He was taken to hospital as a precaution, but released.