Recovery efforts switch to shore search for teen presumed drowned in Oldman River

The search continues for the body of a 14-year-old boy who is presumed to have drowned in the Oldman River north of Lethbridge, Alta., last weekend.

Divers have been scouring river since 14-year-old boy disappeared Friday

The fire rescue team blocked access to the river valley on Saturday for the search. The park remains closed. (LethbridgeNewsNOW.com)

The search continues for the body of a 14-year-old boy who is presumed to have drowned in the Oldman River in Lethbridge, Alta., last weekend.

The local fire department has now transitioned from underwater diving to a surface recovery search. Members of search and rescue are scanning the shoreline, Lethbridge police said in a release Thursday.

On June 6, at 7:42 p.m., officers responded to a call about a missing youth, police said. 

The 14-year-old had been walking with a friend and the friend's grandmother in Alexander Wilderness Park when the group went to cross the river. The teen lost his footing and went under. 

Police said the 59-year-old woman attempted to pull the boy to safety but was unsuccessful. Upon getting to shore she immediately called 911. 

The dive team and water rescue unit have been searching for the teen every day since Friday. 

'Tragic situation'

Officers have interviewed the witnesses and are in contact with and providing support to the teen's parents. 

"This is a tragic situation and I want to assure the community we're doing everything we can to find this boy and give his parents a sense of closure," said Staff Sgt. Ryan Stef of the Lethbridge Police Service. 

The teen's name is not being released at the request of his family, police said.

Alexander Wilderness Park is closed to the public until further notice.