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Moser River
March 26, 2007

Just after lunch on a sunny afternoon in late March, two year old Simon Pye was playing happily by the trampoline at his grandfather's Moser River home.

Within minutes, he had disappeared from view and the family began looking for him.

In the hour that followed, they had discovered Simon's tracks leading into the dense brush behind the family home but were unsuccessful in finding the toddler. Police were called to the scene and arrived quickly.

Simon's parents, Sarah and Dana Pye were summoned in New Glasgow where they had gone shopping.
First Responders were on the scene in Moser River

By 4:00 pm that afternoon, several RCMP officers, a tracking dog, First Responders from several fire and ambulance units and a Department of Natural Resources heliocopter had begun searching.

Meanwhile, Simon, who had gone into the woods to 'find his daddy' was heading further and further into the woods.

On the ground, the nearby communities mobilized. Word had spread quickly up and down the Shore.

Hundreds of searchers arrived within hours

Over two hundred residents from the Sheet Harbour to Sherbrooke area rushed to the scene to help in the search. At the local Fire Hall, food preparations for for the volunteers had begun. As if by magic, more and more food began arriving. Moser River women hurriedly put together trays and trays of sandwiches and cake, megapots of coffee and hot chocolate.

It would be dark in an hour and was turning cold.

Corporal Angela Corscadden of the Cole Harbour RCMP organized the searchers into groups of twelve. It was a sea of orange hats, vests and jackets. Wearing rubber boots and carrying compasses and flashlights, they fanned out in lines covering several miles to comb through the thick brush.Two Year Old Simon Pye  was lost in the woods

"Form lines at arm's length from each other", the Officer had instructed. "If you come to an obstacle, a large tree for example, stop the search line until you get around it. You have to move as one unit. "

It was tough going in the low-lying brush and teams got separated in spite of the plan, but they followed the final words of instructions carefully. "Look up, look down, check under trees, tree roots and rock piles. Look ahead, to the sides and behind you at all times. "

Every ten minutes or so, radio checks could be heard from HQ at the Dennis Tibert home. Searchers strained to hear over the sound of the chopper droning incessantly overhead. Just as night was falling, word spread through the search teams that Simon had been found. The voice crackled through that he was "upright", meaning he was unhurt.

The chopper stopped circling and made a beeline for the woods in Necum Teuch, the village just east of Moser River.

Over a mile back in the woods behind the village, Simon's uncle Joey Moser and an older half brother on Team 4 held Simon close while they waited for the helicopter to land.

"I found Simon hugging a tree at the edge of a large bog. He was wet and very cold" the brother said.

Soon, Simon was in the helicopter and being lifted to HQ where he was taken by ambulance to Eastern Shore Hospital in Sheet Harbour. The boy had scratches from going through the thicket, but was otherwise unharmed.

By 8:00 pm that night, Simon was tucked in bed, none the worse for his ordeal.

"In the ambulance", said Simon's mother Sarah, "it was like he was in a daze. I asked him were you scared? At first, he said 'no' but later, he admitted that he was."

She was pale and looked exhausted. "On the way to Moser River from New Glasgow, all kinds of things went through my head", she said. "It was a long drive home and a very, very long day."

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Highway7 E-zine, a publication of Hatch Media, is an electronic journal with a focus on commercial, historical, cultural and ecological issues concerning the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia in Canada. Topics include a growing resource of currently more than 300 articles. More articles and image galleries are added frequently as new material is brought to our attention. With Highway7.com, our primary aim is to serve, inform and reflect the rural communities on the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia, as well as to acquaint new residents, visitors, tourists, and investors with the special beauty and enormous potential of our region.
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