The search for two males reported missing last Thursday morning after they failed to return from a fishing trip on Gull Lake has been called off following the discovery Friday morning of two bodies.
The males, aged 45 and 24, were the subject of an intensive search of the lake by the RCMP, Alberta Fish and Wildlife employees, Alberta Sustainable Resources and Red Deer Search and Rescue,
“What I can tell you right now is our search has come up with the remains of two individuals on the lake, said Sgt. Patrick Webb of the RCMP’s media relations department. “We certainly do not have a positive identification of those two people. The remains will be taken from the lake here to the Calgary Medical Examiner’s office and that will create a positive identification of them.”
Webb confirmed that the two individuals had planned on fishing at Gull Lake on Monday, October 20, however when they failed to return to work in the Kananaskis area a female reported them missing on the following Wednesday.
“Our information is that these two individuals were going to be fishing that day only,” Webb said. “They were reported yesterday morning (Thursday) after not returning to work. The search commenced yesterday afternoon and has continued yesterday and then again today up until now.”
A vehicle belonging to one of the men was located at Birch Bay on the shores of Gull Lake after it was reported abandoned. Following that discouvery, a search was commenced in the late afternoon of last Thursday that included an RCMP boat and a Civilian Air Search aircraft.
According to Webb, the search was halted later that evening due to darkness and began again Friday morning using the same aircraft, and several additional boats. He added that it was too early to speculate on what may have happened to the two men, but shortly after their discouvery, the search was called off.
“The ones we we’re looking for, which appears to be these two, but at the same time, without a positive identification we’re still looking into that aspect, but once we’ve got that confirmed from a medical examiner, we’ll pass that along,” Webb said.
The remains were located shortly after 10:00 a.m. on Friday near a point of land on the east side of the lake. Both victims were wearing personal floatation devices and a canoe the victims were reported to have been traveling in was located, upset, in the same general area.
While he couldn’t confirm it, Webb said it is believed one of the victims was from the Hanna, Alberta area.
The names of the deceased will not be released until notification of next of kin has been completed.
Gull Lake is located approximately 17 kilometres south of Rimbey.