After nearly a week of searching a portion of the Oldman River at Alexander Wilderness Park for a boy believed to have drown, Lethbridge emergency crews are now turning efforts to a surface recovery search.
After six days of exhaustive dive efforts, Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services have been unable to locate a missing teen believed to have drowned Friday night in the Oldman River. As such, the search will now transition away from underwater diving to a surface recovery search.
Divers with the water rescue team have been combing the river since Friday evening. Side-scan sonar and search dogs were also brought in to assist.
“This is obviously not the outcome we had hoped for thus far,” says Dana Terry, Deputy Chief for Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services. “Our crews have been working tirelessly to find this young man and help to bring closure to his family. At this point, we will be ceasing our dive efforts to transition into a surface recovery search.”
The surface recovery search will involve scanning the river by boat and searching the shoreline. Support from Lethbridge Police Service as well as outside search agencies will assist in this process.
The seven member water rescue team was deployed to the Oldman River Friday, July 6 at 7:20 p.m. and has been continually searching for the teen since. As the search continues, the Alexander Wilderness Park will remain closed to the public.
Lethbridge Police say the 14 year old boy had been walking with a friend of the same age and the friend’s 59 year old grandmother. The group entered the water to cross the river when the boy lost his footing and went under. LPS say they've interviewed the witnesses involved and have remained in constant contact with the victim’s parents. The LPS Victim/Witness Services Unit is also providing support to both the family and witnesses. - Lethbridge Fire/EMS & Lethbridge Police Releases