Slocan Lake as seen from Bonanza Beach.

UPDATED: Search of Slocan Lake continues after fatal canoe mishap

A young woman is dead and three others missing after a canoe mishap on Slocan Lake.



A young woman is dead and three others missing after a canoe mishap on Slocan Lake.

The identity of the woman has not yet been released by the BC Coroners Service, but other media are reporting she is Lily Harmer-Taylor, 19, of New Denver.

The three unaccounted for youths are identified as Hayden Kyle, 21, Skye Donnet, 18, and Jule Wiltshire-Padfield, 15. They are from the New Denver area, although Kyle grew up in Gibsons.

The RCMP in conjunction with Slocan Lake Search and Rescue and the New Denver Fire Department are continuing with their search efforts to locate the trio.

On Sunday morning RCMP used a helicopter in its efforts to locate the people by searching the lake and shoreline. According to a news release, “this, unfortunately, was not successful.”

Police say the youths began their canoe trip shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday. A man who was walking along a trail, near the beach, spotted the partially submerged canoe with one person holding onto each end. The man ran to a nearby home and called police.

The canoe was approximately 150 meters from shore. Slocan Lake Search and Rescue, with assistance of the BC Ambulance Service and fire department were immediately dispatched to the scene.

The responders located an unconscious young woman inside the canoe, however, could not locate the other two people. The woman was taken to the New Denver hospital, but died overnight. The search for the remaining three people was suspended last night due to darkness.

The four apparently departed from New Denver planning to canoe about six kilometers north to Rosebery.

At 6 a.m. this morning, search and rescue along with an RCMP dive team and air service resumed the search. As of 4 p.m. Sunday, two boats were on the lake continuing with the search. At 8 p.m. RCMP Sgt. Darryl Little said they had not found anything and were preparing to shut down the operation for the night.

A police dive team will be conducting an underwater search tomorrow morning, starting at the place where the canoe was found. “They’re still getting everybody together to come in,” he explained. “They’re spread throughout the province and also have regular duties.”

The conditions at the time of the incident were good and the water was calm, however Slocan Lake is extremely cold. The lake is estimated to be approximately 250 feet deep where the canoe submerged. None of the people were wearing life jackets and police cannot confirm if there were any in the canoe at the time.

Little said they are still considering it a rescue mission, not a recovery, at this stage.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

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