News from the Past
Sudbury Daily Star, February 19th, 1940
PILOT RESCUES 2 FISHERMEN AND DOGS
FROM DRIFTING ICE
Unreported for Six Hours Off Shore at Killarney
"After seven trips from the mainland to a floating cake of ice off the Killarney shore, on Georgian Bay, Pilot Jimmy Cairns succeeded in rescuing two men and their dog team from the cake of ice which was fast drifting out to the open water, Friday afternoon.
The two men, Fred [Proulx] and Frank [Wedgerfield], of the fishing village of Killarney, had been stranded on the drifting ice for six hours, and considerable alarm had been felt in the village for their safety.
The two men and their team of dogs had set out to pick up their fishing nets early in the day and when they failed to return, residents of the village became worried and a phone call from Lowe's fishing dock was put through to the Austin Airways at Sudbury, requesting aid in the search for the missing men.
Pilot Cairns set out from Sudbury later in the afternoon, and after circling the district a number of times, spotted the men on a good-sized piece of ice which had broken away from the main body. Seeing the floe was big enough to land on, the pilot set his plane down, and found the two men, their dogs and nets, with Proulx and Wedgerfield only slightly concerned about their plight. The pilot had only a small machine on the trip, so had to take one man, who held a dog, leaving the dog on the mainland and returning to take the dogs one at a time. There were four dogs in the team, and extra trips were made to bring the nets and sled.
Just as the plane was landing for the last time, men from the village arrived in a row boat. They too had been in search of themissing men, as the entire village was concerned with the safety of the pair on the drifting floe.
'It was all in the day's work', said Pilot Cairns in speaking to the Sudbury Daily Star regarding his rescue flight, and added that 'the men were quite happy' when he landed to take them and the dogs from the drifting floe.
Killarney is on the north shore of Georgian Bay, approximately 50 miles south and west from Sudbury. The ice breaks are common occurrences in the district, but it is the first time this winter fishermen have come so close to being carried out to the open water of the bay.