Media Release. Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

What3Words App Helps Police Find Lost Hikers

(Bradford, ON)  A Bradford couple who got lost while hiking was located with the help of our 911 Communications Unit and the what3words app.

On Sunday, March 5, 2023, at approximately 6:45 p.m., police were called to Scanlon Creek Conservation Area on Line 9 in the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury by a couple who got lost while hiking at the park. The caller said that he and his girlfriend, both in their early twenties, had been walking around for about three hours, it was getting dark, their cell phone had spotty reception and they were cold. Our 911 Communicators instructed the man to download the what3words app, a geolocation tool that assigns a unique three-word code to every three-by-three-metre square on Earth. Working together, the Communications team and the man used the app to find the couple’s exact location, which was approximately 500 metres northwest of the north entrance of the forest off Line 10. Police attended and the relieved couple was brought to safety within 34 minutes of the 911 call. The Communicators had stayed on the line with them the entire time, keeping them calm and positive.

In an emergency situation, the what3words geolocating app will help communicators pinpoint the caller’s whereabouts so that officers can quickly respond to where help is needed. The app is to be used when a street address is unavailable. A municipal address is still the best way to ensure a quick response. Every three metre square in the world has been given a unique combination of three words: a what3words address. The system can be used via the free app for both iOS and Android or via the online map at and is available in over 40 languages. The app works offline, making it ideal for use in the rural areas of Canada that might have a poor or unreliable internet connection.