Published online at CTVEdmonton.ca on May 20, 2012.
Linda Hoang, CTV Edmonton: Sunday, May 20, 2012
RCMP search for two boaters missing in Coal Lake
RCMP spent the weekend searching for two boaters who went missing in the area of Coal Lake in the County of Wetaskiwin, south east of Edmonton.
The two men, aged 19 and 26, went fishing on the lake Friday and haven’t been seen since.
Police crews, along with dozens of friends and family, spent the weekend searching the lake for the men.
RCMP told CTV News Sunday that the search is now considered a recovery mission.
The two boaters, both from the Camrose area, have been identified by friends as 19-year-old Everett Westerneng and 26-year-old Dallas Simons.
Simons was recently married and has a young son.
Westerneng is a warrant officer with the local cadets.
Both are avid fishermen who spent time in Coal Lake often.
An overturned boat which belonged to one of the men was discovered by police on Saturday along with personal equipment in the water, which police say also belonged to one of the two boaters.
Police don’t believe the men were wearing lifejackets.
They say conditions on the lake both Friday and early Saturday were relatively calm.
“So at this point we’re not really sure what has happened or what caused the accident on the water,” said Cpl. Kevin Krebs with Wetaskiwin RCMP.
Underwater divers were brought in to help the recovery effort Sunday.
Sonar equipment was also brought in to help search the lake.
“Unfortunately the water is very murky. It’s next to impossible to see,” said Krebs.
“You can’t see the bottom at this point. It’s extremely challenging for us.”
RCMP say the search will continue through Sunday night and be resumed Monday if needed.
With files from Amanda Anderson