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Found: Teens put their outdoors education to use while lost in Algonquin Park

Girls stayed put in one place and rationed their food and water during the three days they were lost
The Ontario Provincial Police are asking the public's assistance in locating Marta Malek (left) and Maya Mirota (right), last seen July 11 on the Western Uplands Trail in Algonquin Provincial Park. (Supplied)

Updated: July 15, 5:15 p.m.

The Ontario Provincial Police reported Monday afternoon that two teenagers, missing in Algonquin Park had been found safe.

An OPP Canine Unit located the girls late in the morning, July 15. Officers reported that the girls are in good health and have been reunited with their families, who had travelled to the area.

The girls had made it about a quarter of the way toward their destination when they realized they had left the trail and were lost.

They drew on their education about being in the forest and practiced the message of "hug a tree". 

"When lost in the forest it is always best to stop and stay where you are, rather than continuing on, possibly farther from any trails and potential rescue," said the OPP in a news release.

The girls were reported missing at approximately 10 p.m. on Friday, July 12.

A major search effort began on Saturday morning as members of the OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT), front line members from several OPP detachments, and several OPP Canine Units converged on the area assisted by Park Wardens and members of the Ontario Search and Rescue Volunteer Association (OSARVA). An OPP helicopter and a float plane from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests also took part in the search.

"The girls, despite becoming lost, did the right things by staying put and rationing their food and water," said the OPP.

"They had a tent and other camping equipment and limited supplies. The OPP would like to thank our partners and members of the public for support during the search."

Updated: July 15, 12:20 p.m. 

The two teenage girls reported missing in Algonquin Park on July 12, have been located in good health according to the latest tweet by OPP East Region. 

Police say the girls were found by the OPP Canine Unit around 12 p.m. today. 

More to come.

Original Story 

The Ontario Provincial Police said search efforts are continuing in Algonquin Park for two missing 16-year-old girls.

Marta Malek and Maya Mirota were last seen July 11 on the Western Uplands Trail, between Rainbow Lake and Susan Lake in the massive provincial park. The teens, who police say are experienced campers, had been part of a large camping group at the time of their disappearance.

Hope is high that they will be found safe, considering the pair weren't unequipped, having with them a tent, other equipment and limited supplies.

The two teenagers were reported missing around 10 p.m. July 12, launching an air and ground search which began first thing Saturday morning, July 13. The girls had been supposed to rendezvous with the rest of their group that day. When they failed to arrive at the meeting point, the OPP was contacted.

An OPP helicopter and a fixed-wing plane from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests (MNRF) continue to assist in the search.

Members of the OPP Emergency Response Team, OPP Canine, officers from several detachments, MNRF Park Wardens and other park staff are scouring the area on the ground. 

Members of the Ontario Search and Rescue Association are also assisting in the ground search, using specialized training they received for this type of scenario. 

While offers to assist with the search are appreciated, the OPP is asking that people not show up to the area looking to help. All of searchers are specially trained, the OPP said, and all are GPS tracked. Having additional people could hinder potential tracking efforts by the dogs and increase the possibility of someone else getting lost.

Maya Mirota is described as standing around five feet tall, with a thin build and long, auburn hair, while Marta Malek as tall, around six feet, of average build with long dirty blond and eyeglasses.

Anyone who believes to have seen the girls or has any information is asked to contact OPP at 1-888-310-1122.