Black Lake Rescue – Case Study
Date & Time
Sunday, October 3, 2021, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
George Riffel Ryan McConnell Rebecca Mollison

Northern Saskatchewan is a vast landscape of lakes and rivers that carve through the Canadian Shield and Boreal Forest. It is a wildly remote and beautifully pristine area which is what entices paddlers to seek solace and adventure here. Ryan McConnell, an experienced solo paddler, is one such person. In September 2020, a near-fatal capsize on white water near Black Lake left Ryan and his dog without gear or boat and in dire need of rescue. Corporal George Riffel, a Search Manager with the RCMP, quickly realized the only way to save Ryan from this life-threatening predicament would be to coordinate a helicopter rescue that night. Rescues like this are seldom done in the prairie province of Saskatchewan and securing the appropriate resources would be a challenge. Rebecca Basset, a Saskatoon SAR volunteer, helps Ryan and Cpl. Riffel share their story of what went right and what ultimately led to Ryan’s rescue off a rock ledge on a northern riverbank in the dark.

Session Type