UPDATED: Slocan Lake search suspended

After 10 days, the search for three youths presumed drowned in Slocan Lake following a canoe accident has been called off.

Lily Harmer-Taylor

Lily Harmer-Taylor

After 10 days, the search for three youths presumed drowned in Slocan Lake following a canoe accident has been called off.

The effort involved an RCMP dive team and helicopter, Arrow Lakes and Vernon search and rescue, the Slocan Lake Fire Department, Bruce’s Legacy and others.

“It is unfortunate that the youths could not be located, however the terrain and depth played a large part in [the search] not being successful,” RCMP Sgt. Darryl Little said. “The RCMP would like to thank everyone who assisted in the search effort.”

The youths’ families have been notified of the decision.

Jule Wiltshire-Padfield, 15, Hayden Kyle, 21, and Skye Donnet, 18, have been missing since their canoe capsized in Bigelow Bay a week ago Saturday as they were en route from New Denver to Rosebery. Lily Harmer-Taylor, 19, was pulled from the canoe but died in hospital.

“This has been a difficult ten days for our community,” New Denver mayor Ann Bunka said in a statement. She thanked the many agencies who were both involved in the search and in providing counselling services.

She also thanked the May Days committee and volunteers for pushing through with the annual event despite the tragedy. “This traditional community event which brings us together in a familiar , comfortable way was much appreciated,” she said.

“Everyone in the community stepped up and took a role. The quality of people here is unsurpassed. Through the best of times and the worst of times we roll up our sleeves and get it done. It is a great soruce of pride and comfort to be part of this community.”

An account has been set up at Kootenay Savings Credit Union to receive donations for the families. It’s under the New Denver Hospice Society account, 54734, Summit Savings No. 1.