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UPDATED: Missing man found alive and well after Keji-area search

RCMP and search and rescue teams used a spot at Kejimkujik National Park as a command post in their search for a missing man late in the afternoon on July 2. Earlier in the day they found the man's nine-year-old daughter. The two were reported missing at suppertime July 1 when they didn't return from a canoeing trip from Milford House started several days earlier.
RCMP and search and rescue teams used a spot at Kejimkujik National Park as a command post in their search for a missing man late in the afternoon on July 2. Earlier in the day they found the man's nine-year-old daughter. Early on July 3 the man, 46-year-old Bradley Hall was found alive and well. - Lawrence Powell
MAITLAND BRIDGE, N.S. —

A 46-year-old Lequille man missing since July 1 in woods near Kejimkujik National Park has been found alive and well, RCMP said.

Bradley Hall and his nine-year-old daughter had left on a canoe and camping trip June 28 from Milford House and did not show up when they were expected to on Canada Day.

RCMP said the canoe was swamped sometime on Sunday but father and daughter made it to shore.

When they weren’t heard from on Canada Day as expected, it sparked a massive search headed by RCMP and involving search teams from across Southwest Nova Scotia and beyond.

The daughter was found safe and sound at about 1:30 p.m. on July 2, but the father was still missing.  

See Also: GIRL FOUND

RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke confirmed the man was found and was being check over by EHS.

Reports indicate he was found just after 10 a.m. July 3.

Sgt. Jamie Greene, operations NCO for Annapolis District RCMP, said Hall made it to a cabin on a lake.

“He wandered out of the woods himself. He’d seen a cabin on the lake when they went by and was trying to make his way there,” Greene said. “When he made his way there he got into the cabin and the cabin owner came back shortly afterwards, then he contacted our search and rescue. They went in and made sure it was Mr. Hall. That was about 9:30 this morning when he wandered out.”

SWAMPED

“As far as I know they were going down the river and the canoe got swamped,” Greene said. “They got ashore and he left his daughter there, said ‘stay still, I’m going to go get help.’”

It was Sunday night when he left his daughter Greene said. She stayed put until searchers found her on Tuesday.

“She was pretty good to stay where she was,” Green said. “She never moved out of there.”

Police said the father and daughter were ready for the voyage that winds through lakes and rivers until the outflow from Kempton Lake takes canoeists into the Mersey River and on to Keji.

"The pair were well-prepared for the trip and had sufficient camping equipment and provisions with them," said Clarke in a media release July 2 after the girl was found. "They left Milford House on June 28 and planned to paddle the Mersey River, aiming to arrive at Jake's Landing in Kejimkujik National Park on June 30."

She said the canoe was located, abandoned, along the route. Greene said searchers found a duffle bag and a paddle. There were heavy rains on June 30.

“That could happen to anyone,” Greene said of the canoe getting swamped. “The most experienced person. Those things sometimes happen.”

THE SEARCH

Hilton Seymour, president of Annapolis County Ground Search and Rescue said there were well over 400 searchers, including the 20 ACGSAR members, during the 36-hour search.

“It was a very upbeat atmosphere there last night,” he said. “A lot of people, because they found the girl, wanted to put that extra effort in to find the father as well. She was able to provide much much-need information that we were able to utilize to help our efforts.”

Seymour said that search outcomes aren’t always so positive.

“Morale-wise it’s huge,” he said of volunteers finding both the girl and the father. “Positive outcomes all the way around. I can’t thank enough the other search teams in the province for helping out the way they did.”

Search crews came from across Southwest Nova Scotia and from as far away as Colchester County. A Cormorant helicopter from 14 Wing Greenwood was involved, Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax, and Parks Canada provided a spot for a search command post just inside Kejimkujik National Park. Annapolis Royal Volunteer Fire Department's Water Rescue Unit was also called in late July 2 but because of the darkness were told to stand down.

“This was not just Annapolis County and North Queens Ground Search and Rescue,” Seymour said. “This was a huge effort by a lot of players.”

WEATHER

“Weather-wise it was relatively good from what I’m hearing. I don’t know the report from last night. They were prepared for rain,” Seymour said. “We really appreciated the cool temperatures for the amount of work we had to do.”

And if people thought tick season was over, Seymour said they’d be wrong.

“There were lots and lots of ticks,” he said. “You didn’t necessarily have to be in high grass and/or brush to have ticks on you. There were lots of ticks everywhere.”

But the locals looked after the searchers.

“I understand from being out there last night the community hall in Maitland Bridge, through our counterparts with North Queens Ground Search and Rescue, made arrangements for the local people to provide us with meals, and I do believe the restaurant out there as well provided meals yesterday (July 2).

He said any lessons learned from the search will come out in a debriefing.

“I think every time there are lots of lessons learned, but not seeing the full transcript of the 36 hours I don’t really have much to say on that part,” he said.

NEED FOR SAR

“A lot of our members were older members that were on the search, as well as we had some first-time members get exposed to searching in very rough terrain,” he said, adding that it re-emphasizes the need for search and rescue teams.

"On behalf of ACGSAR, we would like to thank all the agencies that assisted Ground Search and Rescue in our province for the past two days" Seymour said on the ACGSAR Facebook page. "To the residents of Maitland Bridge for providing food to the multitude of searchers, to the staff at Kejiimkujik for accommodating all our ground search and rescue members and, lastly, to the many ground search and rescue volunteers and your employers for allowing you the time to attend, RCMP, JRCC, 14 Wing Greenwood, Lands and Forest Helicopter crew, local volunteer fire departments. This was a total team effort. Well done!"

Greene was happy with the result of the 36-hour search.

“This was a very good outcome, that we found the two of them,” said Greene. “It could have been worse. They could have capsized and they could have drowned. When we found two campfires … on Monday night when they (searchers) went in there, we were pretty confident we were going to find them – two people alive. So were the search teams. Once you find that they made it to land and they were able to make a fire and stuff, they were pretty confident that the results would be positive.”

GoOnline: https://www.facebook.com/ACGSAR/

NOTE: This story has been updated with information from Annapolis District RCMP and Annapolis County Ground Search and Rescue.

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