UPDATED: Search suspended for the day; now officially recovery rather than rescue mission
The search for three missing men, aged 15 to 21, has been concluded for the day without success, according to RCMP Sgt. Darryl Little.
“The RCMP dive team dove both in the morning and afternoon,” he said. “The team concentrated on the Bigelow Bay area working out from the shore toward deeper water.”
He said the search will continue tomorrow.
“The dive team will remain overnight and continue with an underwater search on Tuesday morning,” he said. “In addition, the RCMP will be also conducting another aerial search.
“This is now considered a recovery operation.”
He also cautioned against engaging in, or believing, rumours at such a volatile time.
“Of note, there have been some rumours surfacing in the community that the helicopter observed three bodies in the water,” he said. “This is NOT the case.
“As one might guess this has caused a lot of anguish in the community.”
The tiny community of New Denver (population roughly 600) continues to wait with baited breath as the search continues for three males who are missing after a canoeing accident late Saturday afternoon (see previous coverage here).
The only person found after the incident was 19-year-old Lily Harmer-Taylor, who later died in hospital despite aggressive resuscitation attempts both at the scene and at the hospital. There is so far no sign of the other three boaters: Hayden Kyle, 21, Skye Donnet, 18, and Jule Wiltshire-Padfield, 15.
Yesterday’s search efforts were called off at roughly 8 p.m. due to darkness, but resumed this morning, with a helicopter re-searching the shoreline for about 45 minutes, according to RCMP Sgt. Darryl Little.
“We have eight RCMP divers with two boats searching now,” he said. “They (the divers) are being pulled by underwater sleds so they can stay down longer.”
He said the depth of the lake is as much as 480 feet in the search area, and the coldness of the glacier-fed lake is of significant concern, as the surface temperature is roughly 4 degrees Celsius.
“Down where the guys are diving it’s about 34 degrees Fahrenheit (just over one degree Celsius),” he explained.
“We’re saying now this is a rescue moving into a recovery,” he said.