Serving the Community and Reuniting Families Since 1969
Cape Breton Search & Rescue (CBSAR) is an emergency service provider dedicated to locating and rescuing lost persons in the Cape Breton area (and beyond). Established in November 1969, CBSAR work closely with the Emergency Management Office of Nova Scotia (EMO-NS), Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Cape Breton Regional Police Service and local agencies to provide a number of lifesaving services to our community. These services include: lost and missing person searches, police evidence searches, Project Lifesaver, lost prevention education, civil emergency response and more.
A registered charitable organization and member of the Nova Scotia Ground Search & Rescue Association (NSGSARA), CBSAR is one of four (4) teams that serve the Cape Breton area (Eastern Zone) alongside Cheticamp, Inverness and Straight Area GSAR.
The Search for Billy Antle
Where it all started. In November ’69, Billy Antle became separated from his hunting party while in the Wreck Cove Mountain area. This in turn, sparked one of the largest volunteer search efforts Atlantic Canada had seen to date. When word of Billy’s plight reached home, friends, family and complete strangers responded with every fire and military resource they could gather. Friends chartered a fixed wing aircraft and more than 400 volunteers combed the Cape Breton Highlands for five days in search of Billy. “I’ll see Monday but I won’t see Tuesday” he recalled. On the fifth day, he was spotted via helicopter and lifted to safety. Billy, a 35-year-old father of five had done the impossible. He survived nearly a week of frigid temperatures, continuous rain and snow–all without food.
Following the search for Billy, the need for an organized GSAR initiative in the province had become apparent. Eighteen (18) days later, Cape Breton Search & Rescue–the first Atlantic Canadian GSAR organization–was born out the basement of St. Augustines Church in Sydney, NS. The rest is history.