North

Search for 3 missing travellers continues, RCMP say

Police say the search is concentrated on a triangular area between Yellowknife, Fort Resolution, and Lutselk’e.

Samuel Boucher and Cammy Boucher were reported missing to RCMP Tuesday

Samuel Boucher, 65, and Cammy Boucher, 23, are two of three overdue travellers believed to have been on their way from Detah to Lutselk'e Monday evening. (Facebook)

The search for three people who went missing while snowmobiling from Detah to Lutselk'e continues into the long weekend, RCMP say.

Samuel Boucher, 65, and Cammy Boucher, 23, were among a party of three who left Detah, N.W.T., for Lutselk'e on a black, two-seater snowmobile pulling two toboggans. The third traveller, a male, has not been identified.

Just after noon on Friday, Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton told CBC that debris had been found, and RCMP had dispatched a helicopter to investigate.

During a press conference Friday evening, police confirmed debris was located near a large area of open water, but searchers were unable to land on the thin ice near the open water.

RCMP search and rescue commander Sgt. Christina Wilkins, left, and Staff Sgt. Yannick Hamel described search efforts at a press conference Friday evening. (Emily Blake/CBC)

RCMP search and rescue commander Sgt. Christina Wilkins said the debris was located approximately halfway between Detah and Lutselk'e.

Police say deteriorating conditions complicate search efforts.

"We're in the [lake ice] break-up season so our conditions are changing on a daily basis," she said. "We have a lot of unstable terrain, unsafe areas on the ice. We recommend that no one go onto the ice."

Police say the search is concentrated on a triangular area between Yellowknife, Fort Resolution, and Lutselk'e. Police estimate more than 20,000 square kilometres of Great Slave Lake have been searched by air, including areas of shoreline.

The trio is believed to have left Detah, at around 10:30 p.m. Monday. Police said they were travelling on a black two-seater snowmobile that was towing two toboggans. Lutselk'e is approximately 184 kilometres east of Detah.

RCMP say they have been in contact with the families of the two known missing travellers.

Earlier Friday, Chief Darryl Marlowe of Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation said Samuel Boucher is experienced on the land.

"He's probably one of the best navigators of the East Arm [of Great Slave Lake]," Marlowe said on Friday. "He grew up in the bush, out on the trap line, and he knows how to navigate the land."

Marlowe said Cammy has been living with her mother in Yellowknife, but that she often visited Lutselk'e.

"She's really kindhearted, a kindhearted young individual. Really outgoing as well," Marlowe said.

With files from Emily Blake.

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