Search continues for missing boater

Terrace man went missing this past Sunday after a canoe he and his friend were in flipped on a lake off Hwy 37 North

  • Sep. 9, 2014 10:00 a.m.

One man is still missing in the aftermath of a boating accident last weekend near Stewart.

A search and rescue team along with police have spent three days searching a lake along Hwy 37 North.

Two men, who went out hunting the morning of Sept. 7 about 80 km north of Meziadin Lake just shy of Bell 2 along the highway, had their canoe capsize while trying to cross a lake, said Dave Jephson of Terrace Search and Rescue today, Sept. 9.

One man made it to shore but the other one, from Terrace, did not, said Jephson.

That man has been identified on social media as Justin Dasilva, 23.

Terrace Search and Rescue were contacted the night of the accident by Stewart RCMP, who requested assistance to search for the missing man, he added.

Search and rescue put together a team and left at 5 a.m. Monday Sept. 8.

When they arrived at the lake, which averages about 10 to 12 feet deep, they began the search with different types of sonars and underwater cameras, he said.

The water was very, very murky and visibility was very, very short with lots of weeds, lots of muck so unless the camera is right there on top of the individual, it’s very difficult to see them,” he said.

Search and rescue swept the lake on Monday and around 3 or 3:30 p.m. Lakelse Air transported two more searchers up there to replace others who had to return to Terrace for work, added Jephson.

The search continued until 8:30 or 9 p.m. with no success and Elsworth Camp management put the searchers up for the night, he said.

Crews left at 5:30 a.m. this morning, Sept. 9, were on the water searching at 6:30 a.m.

An RCMP dive team joined the search too.

We’re just basically doing the best we can in our time out on the water,” said Jephson, adding that nothing had been found.

As you can appreciate, the crew as they move, drop the camera in the water, and have to clean weeds off [often] so it is very difficult, very painstaking and meticulous,” he said.

It’s like if you’re walking across a football field and you can only see one foot ahead – that’s how far the camera can see underwater, he added.

A person could be only two feet away from you but with the lack of visibility, you’d go right past without seeing the person.

As you can imagine, we feel super bad that we can’t do more,” he said.

Our goal is to continue to support the family and community and the local RCMP up there.”

Search and rescuers are leaving the area today and leaving the search in the care of he RCMP, said Jephson.

Depending on the success of the RCMP that will determine what search and rescue does next,” said Jephson.