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Search continues for missing canoeist on Smoky River

Two weeks since a man vanished into the rushing waters of the Smoky River, Grande Prairie RCMP are still searching for signs of the missing boater.

Al Smith, 60, has been missing since canoe capsized on June 10

Al Smith went missing on June 10 after his canoe capsized in the Smoky River near Grande Prairie. His two friends managed to swim ashore. (Facebook)

Police are still searching for signs of a missing boater two weeks after he vanished into the rushing waters of the Smoky River.

Search-and-rescue teams have been scouring the banks of the river since June 10, when a canoe capsized near the Riverstone golf course, about 65 kilometres northeast of Grande Prairie.

Due to unstable terrain in the area and high water levels, search efforts resumed Friday by air and boat, RCMP said in a news release.

RCMP are asking people to avoid the area as the search continues. Anyone with information that may assist in the search is asked to contact police.

'He saved our lives'

Al Smith, 60, and two friends, Brook Dilworth and Nicole Belcourt, were in the canoe when it capsized into the river, which was running high and fast from spring thaw and heavy rains.

All three were able to grab on to a log and float down the river for several hours.

The two women managed to swim to shore, but Smith, too exhausted from the ordeal, remained clinging to the debris.

The women were found on the side of the river suffering from hypothermia.

"When I first jumped off the log, I didn't think I was going to make it," Dilworth told CTV News in an interview on June 13. "But Al pushed me, he said, 'You can do it ... go, go, go.'

"We definitely wouldn't be here if it weren't for him. He saved our lives."
Ground crews have been searching for the missing boater since June 10. (William Vavrek Photography)

With files from the Canadian Press

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