RCMP searching for missing swimmer
A dive team from Lethbridge is investigating an irrigation canal on Thursday after a 22-year-old man drowned near Raymond.
Police also say that while jumping into the water at Cooper’s Drop may be fun, it’s also dangerous and illegal.
At around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, 22-year-old Brandon Moore was tubing with his family when he fell out his tube and went underwater.
One of his friends tried to help him when he fell into the water but he couldn’t be rescued.
Friends say Moore didn’t know how to swim.
On a memorial page on Thursday, friends say Moore was a confident young man with a great smile, good sense of humour, and had a passion for life.
Police say that over the past few years, they’ve had reports of more and more people using the spillway as a slide.
But they insist that it’s highly dangerous. “”You hit the bottom where the water starts curling, you get into the undertow and you can’t get out,” says Sgt. Kelly McCoy of the Raymond RCMP.
The company who owns the canal has had to repeatedly repair an access fence.
RCMP says they’ve also handed out ticket for trespassing. “We’ve warned people not to come here, and to stay out of this area,” McCoy says.
“Unfortunately, today we’re seeing exactly what the consequences are.”
Raymond fire officials spent the entirety of Wednesday night looking for Moore’s body but couldn’t find anything because of dense weed beds and darkness.
On Thursday morning, they resumed the search alongside the Lethbridge dive team.
The St. Mary River Irrigation district is also aiding in the search by cutting off the flow of the water coming down the spillway, keeping the area safe for divers while they search.
Police hope that people will learn from this tragedy.
“Stay off of these irrigation canals. There’s signs warning them. This is not a place to cool off and have fun. Stay away.”