Search called off for missing boater at Lake McGregor
The body of a woman was recovered from the shoreline of Lake McGregor on Sunday and crews have called off the search for a man who was in the boat with her after attempts to locate him failed.
Police were called to the lake, about 100 km southeast of Calgary, on Sunday at about 5:15 p.m. to investigate a boat that was adrift on the water.
Officers talked to people at the lake who said they saw a man and a woman in the same boat earlier that day.
Gord Ouellette is from Calgary and was at the lake with his family when he discovered the boat bobbing on the water.
“We spotted this boat and a dog barking to get in and that was washed ashore. We went up there and seen nobody was in it and that and I put the dog into the boat, hopped in, seen a lady’s purse and everything around there and I immediately told my wife and called 911,” said Ouellette. “We decided to go up the lake and look and hopefully the people made it to shore and were walking along the shoreline there and after a couple of kilometres we couldn’t see anybody, we decided to turn back and that, looking in the water and my son-in law noticed what looked like a yellow bag or something floating so we turned around and that’s when we discovered the girl floating about two feet below the surface.”
Quellette called 911 again and told the dispatcher that they found the body of a woman.
“They told us not to touch anything for RCMP to get out there. So we circled the boat for a good hour or more waiting for somebody to come out there,” he said.
Police say the woman was not wearing a lifejacket and there were no lifejackets on the boat when it was found.
It is a cold and relatively large lake and some recreation users say conditions on the water were choppy on Sunday.
“We wear our lifejackets. You get in spots where it’s so calm you probably think you don’t need them but even when you’re on the tubes and that, we wear our lifejackets if we’re ever in the water and I think they’re important. You know, I’ve seen people lifejacket their pets, their dogs and that so lifejacket the kids too, lifejacket yourself because there might still be somebody out there that could be alive today,” said Marie McAdams, Lake McGregor recreation user.
Crews searched for the missing 37-year-old man all day Monday and called off the search in the evening after attempts to locate him failed.
Officials say they have covered all searchable areas but will continue to follow up on any leads.
They say they are withholding the identiites of the dead woman and the missing man as they are still trying to locate next of kin.
RCMP are asking anyone who may have seen the two boaters at Lake McGregor to contact the Vulcan RCMP Detachment at 403-485-2267.