A 19-year-old female is dead after drowning and a search is on for three missing people in Slocan Lake in the West Kootenay region, according to New Denver RCMP.
The call came in at 5:45 p.m. Saturday that two people were holding onto a partially submerged canoe in Slocan Lake, according to Sgt. Darryl Little from the Central Kootenay RCMP. The canoe was about 150 metres away from the shore. Slocan Lake Search and Rescue were sent to the scene and found an unconscious female in the canoe but could not locate the other three people.
The female, who is from New Denver, was taken to hospital but died overnight. Family friends have identifed her as Lily Harmer-Taylor.
Dan Nicholson, who lived with Harmer-Taylor since September, said she was just about to graduate high school and had plans to back pack across the country.
He said she was a wonderful kid, who was “vibrant and alive.”
According to Nicholson, Harmer-Taylor and her boyfriend Jule Wisltshire, along with Hayden Kyle — who all live in New Denver — and Gibsons-resident Skye Donnet took his canoe Saturday from Rosebury to a beach in New Denver.
Hayden Kyle is one of three missing after a canoe accident on Slocan Lake.
RCMP said none of the canoeists were wearing life jackets and police cannot confirm if there were any in the canoe at the time of the incident.
According to Nicholson, they were just about to canoe back to Rosebury when the accident happened. He said the group may have been drinking.
The search for the three people were suspended Saturday night due to darkness.
Crews resumed the search at 6 a.m. this morning, focusing around the Bigelow Bay area of Slocan Lake. RCMP said the conditions of the lake at the time of the incident were good and the water was calm.
The lake is extremely cold and is approximately 75 metres deep where the canoe was found submerged.
Andrew Neilson, principal of Lucerne Elementary Secondary School said counselling services will be held at the school today at 3 p.m. and if needed, additional counselling services from neighbouring communities will be brought in.
“The important thing to remember is that the school and district are working together to ensure the safety and comfort of students,” Neilson said.