Snowmobile of missing man recovered, search continues

The snowmobile of a 30-year-old man missing since Friday evening was recovered Sunday afternoon. The Sûreté du Québec will re-assess the search Monday and decide how to best proceed. 

30-year-old man last seen Friday evening

Sûreté du Québec are searching for a 30-year-old snowmobiler, last seen Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

The snowmobile of a 30-year-old man missing since Friday evening was recovered from the Ottawa River on Sunday afternoon. 

The search for the man was subsequently called off when it got too dark outside, but it's expected to continue on Monday. 

Sûreté du Québec (SQ) officers, alongside local fire crews, have concentrated their search near Isle-aux-Allumettes, Que., across the Ottawa River from Pembroke, Ont. 

The man was last seen by his relatives around 8 p.m. Friday evening, with police being notified around 1 a.m. on Saturday. 

On Saturday snowmobile tracks were found near the village of Chapeau, Que., leading up to an open area of the Ottawa River, police said.

Police helicopters were on the scene Saturday. Dive teams were also asked to help with the search.

Stay on trails, off ice

The search for the man comes as officers with both Ottawa police and the SQ are conducting their own snowmobile safety campaigns over the holiday long weekend and ensuring people aren't drinking and riding.

"We know that ice conditions in some areas can pose a significant risk to people venturing off the trail," said SQ spokesperson Sgt. Audrey-Anne Bilodeau.

Snowmobilers should stick to marked trails, the 70 km/h speed limit in Quebec — while adjusting their speed for weather conditions — and always tell friends or family were they're going and when they plan to return, Bilodeau said.

People should also head out dressed for the weather and prepared with extra food water in case something unexpected happens, she added.

In Ontario, there have been at least three ice-related snowmobile deaths this winter and a number of serious incidents involving snowmobiles crashing through the ice or travelling into open water, according to statistics from the Ontario Provincial Police.

There have also been at least 58 snowmobile-related injuries this season, OPP said.

The speed limit on Ontario's snowmobile trails is 50 km/h.

With files from Kimberley Molina and Radio-Canada

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