Passings: Crash survivor Sedor dead at age 67

A man who garnered worldwide attention nearly six decades ago for surviving a plane crash and staying alive in the bush for two weeks before help arrived has died.

Walter Sedor, who survived a float plane crash north of Flin Flon in 1960 that killed his father and a family friend, died Jan. 20 at the age of 67.

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At the age of nine, Sedor went on a fishing trip with his father Steve and pilot Ken Harrison. The destination was Tartan Lake, about 35 kilometres north of Flin Flon, but the plane didn’t make it. After an extensive ground and air search found nothing, all hope seemed lost for finding any of the passengers alive.

Two weeks after the plane crashed, a bush pilot en route to Pukatawagan spotted the wing of the downed plane and Sedor waving from a rocky clearing. The pilot alerted rescuers, who reached the crash site within hours. There, they found Sedor, badly dehydrated but alive and relatively uninjured.

Sedor survived on twigs and leaves he found in the bush during the two weeks he spent near the crash site. He slept in a nearby cave at night and encountered bears frequently. His father, shortly before succumbing to injuries he sustained in the crash, is said to have told Sedor to stay near the plane and to use the emergency rations on board to stay alive.

Newspapers and radio stations across North America shared Sedor’s improbable survival story. In the years following the accident, Sedor worked underground in mines around Flin Flon, was active with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 73 and was a known presence at The Hooter, taking a special interest in live music.

A show was held at the venue on Jan. 27 in Sedor’s memory.

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