Slocan Lake canoe accident search resumes for 3 young people

An RCMP dive team is expected to start searching for three young men who have been missing since their canoe overturned in the cold waters of B.C.'s Slocan Lake on Saturday. A 19-year-old girl also aboard the canoe is dead.

Girl, 19, confirmed dead, 3 males missing after canoe overturned Saturday about 150 metres from shore

Tragic canoe accident highlights the importance of life-jackets 2:30

An RCMP dive team is back on the water searching for three young men who have been missing since their canoe overturned in the cold waters of B.C.'s Slocan Lake on Saturday.

Divers search Slocan Lake near New Denver, B.C., for the bodies of three males missing in a weekend canoeing accident. (Carolyn Dunn/CBC)

One young woman, Lily Harmer-Taylor, 19, who was on board with them is already confirmed dead. The missing are:

  • Hayden Kyle, 21.
  • Skye Donnet, 18.
  • Jule Wiltshire-Padfield, 15.

The incident began when the group borrowed a canoe to visit friends across the lake.

As they were paddling home, they ran into trouble and ended up in the water. None of them was reportedly wearing a life-jacket.

Wendy-Ann Harmer says her daughter was an amazing woman.

"She lit up so many people's lives,' said Harmer Monday. "She unconditionally loved and gave and brought brilliance. She was an angel. She really was an angel."

Around 5:30 p.m. PT a witness spotted the canoe about 150 metres from shore with two clinging to the sides and one person inside.

By the time rescuers reached them, only Harmer-Taylor was still inside the canoe.

She was found unconscious, but later died in hospital after attempts to revive her failed, according to Dan Nicholson, who owned the canoe used by the friends.              

"They did CPR on her for five hours, they got her heart going, she was breathing through a ventilator, but she never came back," said Nicholson.

'It's very raw'

Central Kootenay RCMP Sgt. Daryl Little says a concentrated search was underway Monday.

"We have the RCMP helicopter up. We're doing another search of the shoreline from the air, plus we have two dive boats out, with eight divers and they're going to be conducting an underwater search."

David Harley, who lives in the small community of New Denver, which three of the four called home, says the news has hit the small community hard.

"They're the same age as my kids, so you get to know all the kids in town pretty well. I think everybody's kind of in a state of suspended animation because there's a lot of unknowns, but everybody's stunned. It's very raw."

On Sunday night, a number of residents from the area gathered for a community healing ceremony on a beach on the shore of Slocan Lake.

Grief counselling is being offered to students in New Denver and the surrounding area.

Google Maps: Slocan Lake, B.C.

With files from the CBC's Bob Keating and Richard Zussman