A search has been suspended for a 43-year-old Edmonton man who went missing in the Kootenay River after swimming out to rescue his dog that had been swept up in the current near Canal Flats last week, according to an RCMP news release.
On Thursday, July 30th, Columbia Valley RCMP, along with regional search and rescue personnel, responded to the scene conducting an aerial search of the river, while on-the-ground crews searched the riverbanks.
“The victim was reportedly walking around a sand bar in the river, when his dog became caught up in the rivers current when it attempted to swim over to him,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesperson for the BC RCMP Southeast District. “The victim tried to reach his dog, when he suddenly lost his footing, fell into the water and failed to resurface. The family’s dog survived and managed to swim back to shore.”
An RCMP dive team and additional search and rescue resources returned to the scene the next day to resume the search, which proved ‘challenging due to river conditions,’ according to RCMP. However, the search was suspended in the evening following consultation with search and rescue experts, swift water rescue technicians and RCMP divers.
Police say officials will monitor the river level and conduct periodic shoreline patrols and aerial searches.
“I’m extremely grateful to all the agencies and local residents who supported our search efforts, including Columbia Valley SAR, Kimberly SAR, the Cranbrook SAR search dog, the Canal Flats Fire Department, BC Emergency Health Services, Coldstream Helicopters and our very own RCMP Victim Services,” says Sgt. Darren Kakuno, Detachment Commander of the Columbia Valley RCMP.
“Our search to date has involved twenty swift water SAR technicians, three jet boats, a police dog team, a SAR dog team, an unmanned aerial vehicle, underwater rovers and cameras, a helicopter and the RCMP’s dive team. Local residents continued to drop off food and water for searchers, which was greatly appreciated.”
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