Hunt for 2 B.C. teens now a recovery operation near Merritt
Dive team searching for Lower Mainland teens in Nicola Lake
Police say the search for two Langley, B.C. teenagers whose canoe was found overturned in Nicola Lake near Merritt has now become a recovery operation.
An RCMP dive team has been deployed to search for their bodies, said search and rescue spokesman Mike Damien.
"At this point to us it looks like it’s going to be a recovery, as the two young men were not found on the shores or hiding out in the cabin warming up," Damien said.
The two, aged 17 and 18, were reported missing by family members at 10:30 p.m. PT Sunday when they failed to return for dinner.
Family members say two ball caps and a shoe found along the shore of the lake belonged to the boys.
The boys — who are both involved in minor hockey — had been camping at a family property near the lake, which is about 150 kilometres west of Kelowna.
A local caretaker told officers that he had seen the boys earlier in the day on Sunday, but that a canoe normally kept at the property was missing.
Nicola Valley Search and Rescue began a shoreline search that lasted through the night. At dawn, the crew of a police helicopter spotted the overturned canoe half-submerged near the north end of the lake.
Officials say it's believed the boys were not wearing life jackets when they went out on the water.
It is unlikely they survived because the water in the lake is extremely cold, officials added.