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Survival Tip: Disrupt the Power Grid

Imagine you are stranded in the woods with no way to call for help. An unnamed man in Saskatchewan found himself in just such a position, but he figured out a plan that worked. He cut down some power line poles! Several hundred people in Wollaston Lake and Hatchet Lake Denesuline Nation lost electrical power for two days. But the power company found the lost traveler.
"He was found under his boat in a very distressed state, so essentially he was stranded for a number of days and just desperate for people to know where he was," SaskPower spokesman James Parker said.

The man reported he had been on a boat on the lake when he hit bad weather. He ended up stranded in the bush, with no way to communicate with the outside world, Parker said.

But he had an axe and he knew SaskPower would have to check the downed line, so he went to work.

"Essentially it was mission accomplished, because we got the call, we chartered a helicopter … and on Friday around noon we discovered him," Parker said. -via Fark

According to the news story, his stunt cut off power to hundreds of people and caused an estimated $100,000 in damages. I don't think we'll be seeing Les Stroud pushing this solution on his show.
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And if the power lines cross a river or a gorge that you cannot cross without getting yourself lost further? I think his solution was pretty ingenious. Granted, he probably shouldn't have cut down multiple poles...
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Take a look at a map. Find Wollaston Lake. What else is around it? If you started following the poles, you could walk hundreds of miles before you ever found someone. Except maybe some of the really hungry bears.
No one would ever have found him. He did the smart thing. Inconvenient for the people of WL, but they would have done the same thing in his place.
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it took them TWO days to find the problem.....IN A HELICOPTER.... i don't think following the power lines was exactly as easy as some of you are implying....
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mcGyver would be proud! And for those who say "just folow the powerlines"take a good long look at the map, and dont forget to include a scale. Divede by the average walking speed of maybe 2 miles an hour in rough terain.
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What if he goes the wrong way following the power lines?

@Romeo Vitelli

Stunt? I suggest you look the word up in a dictionary.
Next time you're lost and the authorities decide you aren't worth the $100,000 it would cost to rescue you would you be happy? I doubt it.
Plus I think the folks that live that far out in the boonies are most likely prepared to handle a loss of power.
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Power lines in rural areas can go on for miles and if you are in distress already, maybe not the best idea to try and follow them. We live in the boonies and power lines cut across the mountains. You could easily follow them for days and never hit any populated areas.

I would not mind my power being cut to save a life. This man was smart and I am thankful he is OK.
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Very smart on this guy's part. I never would've thought to do something like that either.
I can understand the surrounding areas that has their power cut being a little peeved, but hopefully they'll be understanding and sympathize.
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Christophe the answer is I would cut those power lines in a heartbeat. My life is worth more to me than somebody else's. Cruel but true!

Now, if it's my wife who is on life support... well she probably doesn't wanna know my answer!
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Following the power lines only works if you're close to civilization. Sounds like he got blown off course by a significant amount. Cutting down the line while you still have the energy for it, is the wisest choice.

As for the cost, if he had brought proper signal gear (which he definitely should have) the rescue would have cost nearly the same amount of money anyway.

In the end, a couple hundred people without power is a small price to pay for the life of one person, and I don't care what anyone says. Those in need have resources in town to cover those needs - including those in the hospitals.
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I'm with whitcwa. When my family goes into the bush here in Ontario (and it's not that remote really in the Algonquin interior), we leave a plan with a friend that says where we're going, and when we'll be back. If we're not home on time, they can call the appropriate authorities and someone will come looking for us.

But I don't blame the man for being creative in his SOS. I've heard Les Stroud say he would set a forest on fire if it would get him rescued and home to his family, but that is NOT something he recommends as a starting point.
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Way to be totally unprepared for an emergency.

If he had planned ahead, he wouldn't have had to resort to such a risk. It's not exactly safe chopping down poles.
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I think he's an idiot. Even though he could have been 100 ft from where the lines hit the ground, fault current in the ground could have easily been enough to kill him, especially in adverse weather conditions. Look up "Step and Touch Potential"
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