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Drowning victims confirmed as Lower Mainland residents

Fly-fishing trip turns deadly as man drowns; woman still missing



RCMP have confirmed the deceased man and still-missing woman who is presumed dead after both fell into the Cheakamus River while fly fishing with a guide near Whistler the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 6 were Lower Mainland residents.

"We searched extensively up and down the Cheakamus River from the point where they went into the water right down into Daisy Lake," said Whistler RCMP staff sergeant Steve LeClair.

Though names have not been released, LeClair confirmed that the families have been notified.

The female was 25 years old and the male was 30 years old.

"With absolutely no sign of the missing person we put two kayakers in the water, those kayakers went down river searching in all of the areas where a person might get trapped and went as far as they could until it because no longer feasible to kayak and further search by kayak would not have proved fruitful anyway," said LeClair.

RCMP and Search and Rescue volunteers halted the search at 12:15 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7.

"We feel she is submerged, trapped underneath a log or another natural feature in the river and we're going to wait until the river drops till we can do some more searching by kayak," said LeClair.

RCMP have posted laminated signs at popular put-in spots along the river asking recreational kayakers to keep an eye out of human activity.

The search extended from the footbridge at the Sea to Sky Trail to Daisy Lake. LeClair confirmed the water in which the woman and man were fishing was relatively calm but changed quickly downstream.

"Where they were fishing was somewhat benign and then further down the river it becomes quite dangerous and the water is quite cold as well," he said. "There are logs, there is deadfall, that sort of thing. It's quite hazardous."

A commercial fishing guide contacted Whistler RCMP on Saturday, who advised that two of her clients had fallen in the Cheakamus River and were swept away by the fast-moving current.

The incident happened about three kilometres east of Highway 99, 20 kilometres south of Whistler.

For more on this story read Thursday's paper.




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