Search for missing teen now a recovery effort

By Lara Fominoff @LaraFominoff on Twitter with files from Dori Modney @Dori_Modney on Twitter
July 7, 2018 - 11:04am Updated: July 8, 2018 - 6:23am

LETHBRIDGE - Rescue officials say the search for a teen who was swept away in the Old Man River near the Alexander Wilderness Park on the north side is now a recovery effort.

Deputy Chief of Support Services for Lethbridge Fire, Dana Terry, says they received a call around 7:20 p.m. about an adolescent who had gone under the water in the river.

Crews responded and deployed the dive team to begin a search. They were unable to find what a witness at the scene said was a 14-year old boy, and the search was called off.

Terry says they believe the boy was with a group of people.

He says the river is lower than it has been in the last few weeks, however the water is very murky and difficult for their divers to search.

"Our guys are in there, doing their best to try and do that, and they have a pattern of how they do that...we've got a pretty good idea of where he may be, and so that's where they're going to be concentrating their search and we'll go from there."

Terry says after this length of time, they do not believe they'll find the boy alive.

Six divers are combing the river for any sign of him. The circumstances of his disappearance however, are still being investigated.

"We know there was a lot of people on the river yesterday. I'm sure there will be a lot of people on the river today as well. And they're floating down the river. We can only surmise what he was doing. We're not sure exactly...one of the things our divers did tell us is that there's a lot of people without life jackets."

He also wants to remind people of the importance of wearing life jackets, especially if they can't swim, or aren't strong swimmers.

"It is dangerous."

The Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services Water Rescue suspended their search efforts late Saturday evening and will resume the search Sunday morning.  The Alexander Wilderness Park remains closed to the public at this time. The public is asked to avoid the area to give crews the space they need to work.

 LNN will have updates on the rescue efforts as they become available. 

Sonar assisting search for boy presumed drowned

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