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Dive teams search for missing teenager swept away in the Oldman River
Published Saturday, July 7, 2018 1:16PM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 7, 2018 6:48PM MDT
Rescue teams in Lethbridge are looking for a youth believed to have drowned in the Oldman River near the community on Friday night.
Officials say they were called to the Alexander Wilderness Park at about 7:20 p.m. on Friday after they were told that a youth, part of a group that was on the river, had gone underwater.
Authorities say they deployed the dive team to search for him, but did not turn up anything and called off the search a few hours later.
Deputy Fire Chief Dana Terry with the Lethbridge Fire Department says that searching the waterway has its share of challenges.
“It’s lower than what it’s been. With our warm weather, the water is murky. It’s not an easy river to search and so our guys are doing their best to try and do that and they’ve got a pattern of how they do that.”
Terry says there is no indication what the victim was doing at the time he went underwater.
“We can only surmise what he was doing. We’re not sure exactly what he was doing down there.”
He adds that investigators have reported that a lot of the people in the water on Friday weren’t wearing life jackets.
“I don’t know what happened in this particular instance, but we saw a lot of people without life jackets. It’s a reminder that the river is dangerous and if you don’t know how to swim of if you’re having some difficulty in the water, you should be wearing a life jacket.”
The search resumed on Saturday and officials say the area will remain closed while dive teams continue their work.
(With files from CTV Lethbridge’s Zayn Jinah)