After spending a day on the South Saskatchewan River with a sonar-equipped boat, searchers report they did not find the body of Myles MacIntosh, who has been missing — and presumed drowned — since Feb. 2.
On Friday evening, one of the people connected to the day's search told CBC News that the effort ended after about six hours on the water.
"We've pretty much decided there's nothing in that general area," Mike Steckhan, president of Shearwater Marine Services Ltd. said. "So it was just another possibility that I think the authorities don't have to worry about anymore."
Shearwater Marine made its boat and sonar equipment available, free of charge, to assist with the search.
It's believed MacIntosh wandered near the river and fell in after getting ejected from a pub crawl bus, following an altercation with a man on the bus.
That man, Scott Denny, 33, is scheduled to stand trial starting Nov. 10, on a charge of aggravated assault. Police said that charge may change if MacIntosh's body is located.
MacIntosh, 28, is originally from Nova Scotia.
A grim task
Friday's search began with police and fire crews gathering on the riverbank launch near the Broadway Bridge at 9:30 a.m. CST to board the Shearwater Marine boat.
Randy Huisman, a major crimes detective with the Saskatoon police, said the search would focus on the area of water near the Sid Buckwold Bridge. That's where MacIntosh's blood trail led the night he disappeared.
Huisman said the river is relatively shallow and slow moving in that spot.
"There are obstacles underneath that may catch onto to Mr. MacIntosh," Huisman said, adding that sonar images from the river bottom are eerily clear.
"It is quite remarkable how clear it is, depending on river clarity, but you would be able to see the body on the bottom," he said.
Dive team on standby
Five people were on the boat working on the search and spent about six hours working the east side of the river.
A dive team was ready in case anything was seen that appeared to be human remains.