Two young men drowned in Harrison Lake over the weekend, after a group was wading near a drop off on Sunday evening.
Bystanders were able to rescue one man but a 16-year-old and his 24-year-old uncle disappeared beneath the surface. Attempts to locate the victims were unsuccessful that evening, but Kent-Harrison Search and Rescue (KHSAR) returned to the area on Monday for a recovery. They assisted the RCMP Dive Team to recover the bodies in an area where the water temperature was 16 degrees celsius.
“KHSAR volunteers pass on condolences to the families of the victims,” said rescuer Dave Harder.
He added that the group of three men were wading in “waist deep water some distance from shore when they reached an area where the water depth suddenly drops to 4 meters.”
Started a great day at #HarrisonHotSprings but saddened by the drowning of 2. Prayers to their families. Absolutely heartbreaking.
— PM (@poppetxem) September 4, 2017
It was part of a busy weekend for Search and Rescue. On Saturday, they had been called out for a search for missing boaters on Harrison Lake shortly before midnight. They were eventually located by the RCMP.
“As the team was preparing to return to the base after the first task, the team received a second call at 9 p.m. to respond to a call for help from people stranded in their boat on a gravel bar in the Harrison River near Harrison Mills,” Harder said. “Personal watercraft were used to dislodge the boat so it could be towed back to shore along with the occupants.”
But the rescue crew has good news to share, too.
On Tuesday evening, the team officially christened the Harrison Osprey, (Halmatic Pacific 38 Fast Interdiction Craft) a 38-foot vessel donated to the team two years ago. Harder says the boat is built for tough conditions.
“The boat was designed to transport workers to oil rigs in the North Sea so it is well suited to handle the rough waters of Harrison Lake,” he said. “After many minor modifications and a crew certification process, the vessel has already proved to be very useful after being put into service earlier this year.”