Almost two days after a man went missing in the Mackenzie River near Norman Wells, N.W.T., RCMP and volunteers are still scouring the river.

Search and rescue co-ordinator John Greathead said the young man was paddling with a woman when their canoe capsized.

People on shore heard people calling for help around 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday, he said. Three people from Norman Wells boated out to help and rescued the woman about 150 metres from shore. The man was last seen several hundred metres off shore with their canoe.

Although the canoe has since been recovered, the man has not. Greathead would not say if the man and woman were wearing life-jackets.

He said rescuers are using high-resolution fish finders to search the bottom of the river, which is about seven metres deep in the search area. He said the search is “hindered by the murkiness” because underwater visibility is less than four inches.

John Greathead

John Greathead, search and rescue manager. (Karen McColl)

Greathead said he’s impressed by the support shown by the community.

“Within 20 minutes of the call, we had at least a dozen boats in,” said Greathead. “Some people stayed out right until one, two in the morning, until it got too dark. Some stayed out until 6:30 in the morning.”

The search continued all day Wednesday and into Thursday.

Although the identity of the man has not yet been released, a volunteer said he had moved to the community recently.