Paddlers who came across distraught woman after fatal bear attack thank Tulita

A group of canoeists from B.C. who came upon a distraught woman on the MacKenzie River after a fatal bear attack last week, has signed a letter to the people of Tulita, thanking them for their help during a very difficult time.

The paddlers were on the river last Thursday morning when they encountered the frantic woman on the shoreline who told them she’d just watched as her canoeing partner was dragged into the bush by a grizzly bear.

The woman and the canoeing party were all extricated from the area and taken to the small Sahtu Region community.

The man’s body was found the next day and two bears in the area were put down.

The victim has since been identified as Julien Gauthier, 44, a tourist from France.

His paddling partner has been identified on social media as Camille Toscani, also believed to be from France.

CKLB has been in contact with the brother of the female canoeist who got help to the scene using A SPOT emergency tracking device.

It’s not believed the canoeing party is equipped with a satellite phone and they are out of cellphone range.

She was paddling the river with her husband, two kids and two other men, all of whom are mentioned in the letter to the people of Tulita.

We hope to speak to her but she is apparently back on the river and unreachable by phone.



About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.