Wood Buffalo RCMP Expands Search to Athabasca River for Missing Canoeist

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A man was found dead and RCMP agents search the Athabasca River for another missing canoe after the two were last seen on Saturday.

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Wood Buffalo RCMP received a call about the two missing canoeists around 12:15 a.m., both from Fort McMurray, on the Ellis River, north of Fort MacKay.

Mounties said the two men were paddling in a 16-foot red canoe in a group that consisted of another two-driver canoe, a single-pilot canoe and a single-driver kayak. The group of six had been on the Ellis River for about an hour before losing sight of the two men and calling the RCMP.

At about 4:15 p.m., searchers found the “overturned red canoe” and the body of one of the missing men – an 80-year-old man.

Wood Buffalo RCMP attended the area and a boat search, supported by an air search, was conducted with the assistance of Fort McMurray Search and Rescue, Fort McMurray EMS, STARS Air Ambulance, Syncrude Search and Rescue and Phoenix helicopter. Community members assisted in further ground searches, the RCMP said.

Mounties said the search for the missing 45-year-old man is continuing with the support of Edmonton Civil Air Search and Rescue and the RCMP Air Service. Wood Buffalo RCMP extend their search to the Athabasca River.

Anyone who believes they may have seen the missing 45-year-old man between May 21 and 23 is asked to contact Wood Buffalo RCMP or submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers.

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