Man presumed drowned

Lacey
Lacey Sheppy
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A 19-year-old Moose Jaw man is missing and presumed drowned after he failed to come ashore from an early morning swim in Buffalo Pound Lake Tuesday.
RCMP say the man, whose name has not been released, was swimming with a group of other teenagers between 3 and 4 a.m. when he was apparently pulled out into the lake by a current.

Man presumed drowned

A 19-year-old Moose Jaw man is missing and presumed drowned after he failed to come ashore from an early morning swim in Buffalo Pound Lake Tuesday.
RCMP say the man, whose name has not been released, was swimming with a group of other teenagers between 3 and 4 a.m. when he was apparently pulled out into the lake by a current.
According to Moose Jaw Search and Rescue, the man was last seen in the water about 20 feet from shore on the east side of the Buffalo Pound Lake causeway, approximately 37 kilometres north of Moose Jaw on Highway No. 2.
"Information we got said they started swimming over there," said search member Jerry Sushelniski, gesturing to the west side of the causeway.
"They came through (a culvert) there, and one of his friends swam up on shore here (on the east side). We started our search at the last place (the man) was seen."
A four-person search and rescue team, which included two certified recovery divers, began searching a 200 by 300-metre grid in a Zodiac boat at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, using a high-tech underwater camera, sonar and infrared equipment.
When that search yielded nothing, the team extended its grid and started looking for signs of the man closer to shore.
RCMP spokeswoman Heather Russell said the team was expected to continue its efforts until dark Tuesday, then reassess the value of searching again today.
"There's no rule on when to end a search," she said. "Every case is unique."
However, an RCMP press release issued at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday indicated the search would resume today if it was unsuccessful on Tuesday.
Factors affecting the search effort include opaque water - which was the same colour and consistency as green paint Tuesday due to a build up of algae in the area - and a pockmarked lake bed.
"There are a bunch of holes all over this area," said Sushelniski.
"It's not a smooth bottom. With the camera and sonar, it becomes a grey area.
"They have to come at it from all different angles to be sure there's nothing there."
Sushelniski said water in the area being searched is chest-high and has a bit of a current, but it is not known to be fast-moving.
RCMP suspect alcohol consumption was a factor in the incident.
This is the first suspected drowning in the Moose Jaw area this summer.

Lacey Sheppy can be reached at 691-1258.

For more, see Wednesday's Moose Jaw Times-Herald

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Buffalo Pound Lake

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