Grande Prairie emergency responders were called to two search and rescues Saturday.
One was north east of the city near Bezanson between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to reports of a missing male on the river by the Watino bridge.
RCMP say a male believed to be in his 60’s and two adult females had been travelling down the Smoky River when their canoe overturned. The three grabbed onto a log and floated for several hours. The females swam to shore, but the male did not attempt to swim as he was too fatigued. The females were located along the side of the river suffering from hypothermia. They have since been released from hospital.
The search continues for the missing male. STARS air ambulance, Search and Rescue from Grande Prairie and Grovedale and County Fire Rescue have all been helping search the river and surrounding area. RCMP Air Services helicopter as well a privately-owned helicopter are still searching, but the ground search has been suspended because of the high level and fast-moving water, large debris floating down the river and dangerous search conditions.
We will have updates on the search as they become available.
According to Alberta Environment and Parks, a high stream flow advisory remains in effect for the Smoky River upstream of Watino, water levels on the Wapiti river continue to rise.
Earlier in the day Saturday, around 12 p.m., RCMP and STARS were called to the McLeod Flats recreation area. They were called to assist with the evacuation of a group of campers when two people had become stranded on a small island. The pair were rescued by STARS and the campers are all accounted for.
w/files from Glory Przekop
(Photo of Wapiti River from Grovedale Fire Department Facebook page)