Search continues for 2 missing Prince George snowmobilers who fell in river

The search has resumed for two men who are missing after an accident involving "high-risk" snowmobiling Monday on the Salmon River near Prince George.

Two men tried to rescue a snowmobiler in the river, but only one managed to get out, say police

Search and rescue efforts are focusing on this area of the Salmon River, about 28 kilometres northeast of Prince George, downstream from where the snowmobilers went missing. (Prince George RCMP)

Two snowmobilers are still missing after an accident late Monday afternoon on the Salmon River near Prince George despite an all-day search. 

The search was suspended Tuesday afternoon around 4:30, but will resume Wednesday morning.

Police say several snowmobilers were travelling together when one man fell into the river.

It's not clear whether the group was "on the ice or going through the water," when the man fell in, according to a release from Prince George RCMP.

Two other men in the group jumped in to rescue him, but only one managed to climb out.

The missing men, aged 31 and 36, are from Prince George, said RCMP ​Cpl. Craig Douglass.

RCMP said a helicopter was deployed but the search could only continue on the ground after sunset. The search continued until midnight Monday and resumed first thing Tuesday morning.

Mild winter means thin ice

Douglass said mild January and February temperatures mean the river has less ice cover than usual for this time of year.

"With our unusually warm winter, ice is not safe to be on," Douglass said.

Douglass described the snowmobiling the men were doing as "high-risk." Just before noon, he said the fact that the search has been underway for hours now means "there's not a good chance of finding them alive."

The search is being coordinated from Marlin Drive, northeast of the Salmon River bridge. A pilot and two spotters are flying over the Salmon Valley while Search and Rescue combs the river ice and snowbanks.

RCMP update via Periscope

With files from Betsy Trumpener

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.