Coast Guard helps young campers leave Bear Island

Jonathan Riley, The Digby Courier
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BEAR ISLAND - Four young people who had been camping on Bear Island Saturday night were helped ashore by the crew of the Coast Guard cutter Westport.

The Coast Guard cutter Westport arrived at the Digby wharf near 11:45 p.m. Saturday with four children who had been camping on Bear Island.

The cutter from Brier Island arrived at the Digby wharf near 11:45 p.m. Saturday night and all four young people walked ashore.

Some of them entered an Emergency Health Services ambulance waiting on the wharf.

Digby RCMP were also on the wharf and confirmed that the mother of one of the children called 911 because the child did not have permission to be on the camping trip.

The officer also said the group was not fully prepared to spend a night on the exposed island in a snowstorm - they had only a tarp and some blankets for warmth.

Bear Island is 500 metres off shore near Smith’s Cove in Digby County and is accessible on foot or by four-wheeler at low tide.

Low tide was about 6 p.m. Saturday night, high tide was just after midnight and the path ashore would not have been exposed again until close to 6 a.m. Sunday.

The call to the RCMP came in early evening as the tide was advancing.

At 9 p.m. it was snowing heavily with a temperature of -1 C and winds of out of the northeast at 25 kilometres per hour for a windchill of -7.

The forecast is for the snow to change over to ice pellets after midnight then back to snow before morning with a risk of freezing rain overnight. The forecast low was -4 with winds forecast to pick up to 40 gusting to 70 after midnight.

The snow is supposed to stop by noon Sunday but the winds were to pick up to 60 gusting to 90.

Organizations: Coast Guard, Emergency Health Services, RCMP

Geographic location: Bear Island, Brier Island, Digby County

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