RCMP continue to search for a 22-year-old Edmonton man who was swept into the Athabasca River earlier this week, although they say there is little hope of finding him alive.

"It’s a horrible scenario. At this point, what we’re trying to do is recover the body so that the family can have some closure," said RCMP Detachment Commander Bob Dodds.

Dodds says the man was trying to cross the river near the Klondyke Ferry on Monday.

"He, for whatever reason, lost confidence and turned around to go back. At that point, he separated himself from the group so that help was not nearby. Then he lost his footing and was swept away," he said.

Dodds says the point where the man lost his footing was shallow and slow moving.

Rescuers continued to use boats to search the surface of the water Wednesday.

Dodds said they plan to use a helicopter Friday to conduct another air search of the area.