On January 29, 2012, 14-year-old Burton Winters left the small Labrador town of Makkovik on his snowmobile. Travelling alone on the treacherous sea ice, his machine became stuck on the vast, featureless expanse. Lost, but determined to find his way home, Burton walked 19 kilometers through blinding snow before hypothermia took his life.
It took four days for searchers to locate the youth’s body-far too long for anyone to be exposed on the ice. Errors were made in the crucial first hours and days of the search, Errors that speak to frightening shortcomings in Canada’s Search and Rescue system.
In the wake of Burton’s Winters tragic death, journalist Michael Friis Johansen investigates what went wrong-communication breakdowns, questionable protocols, inter-governmental squabbling, and out-of-order lifesaving equipment-and what should be done to make Canada’s wilderness and coastline safe for all.
The Boy Who Walked is Burton Winter’s Story: his life, his community, his final days, and his lasting legacy.
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