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BREAKING: Search terminated for missing youths on Slocan Lake

The public notice posted at the Rosebery boat launch asked boaters to stay away from the Bigelow Bay area of Slocan Lake during the weekend. — The Nelson Daily photo

In a heartbreaking turn of events, the search for three missing youths presumed drowned in Slocan Lake has been terminated, according to RCMP Sgt. Darryl Little.

"The 10-day search involved the use of the RCMP Dive Team, RCMP Helicopter, Arrow Lakes Search & Rescue, Slocan Lake Fire Dept, Vernon Search & Rescue, Bruce's Legacy and members of the Slocan area," he said.

Hayden Kyle, 21, Skye Donnet, 18, and Jule Wiltshire-Padfield, 15 were paddling back in a borrowed canoe to Rosebery from New Denver along with 19-year-old Lily Harmer-Taylor when something went terribly wrong.

None of the occupants in the canoeing party was wearing life jackets.

"It is unfortunate that the youths could not be located, however, the terrain and depth played a large part in it not being successful. The families of the youths have all been notified of the search's termination at this time.

"The RCMP would like to thank everyone who assisted in the search effort."

Mechanical issues slow search for missing youths on Slocan Lake

The Search for three missing young men who disappeared more than a week ago while canoeing on Slocan Lake was suspended for the day due to mechanical issues on the boat said RCMP Sergeant Darryl Little Monday.

“The problem has since been repaired resulting in the search being continued tomorrow (Tuesday),” Sgt. Little said in a media release.

“The searchers wish to concentrate on the area the youths were last seen.”

Hayden Kyle, 21, Skye Donnet, 18, and Jule Wiltshire-Padfield, 15 were paddling back in a borrowed canoe to Rosebery from New Denver along with 19-year-old Lily Harmer-Taylor Saturday, May 10 when something went terribly wrong.

None of the occupants in the canoeing party was wearing life jackets.

A male who was walking along a trail, near the beach, spotted the partially submerged canoe with one person holding onto each end.

The person ran to a nearby home to contact police.

When rescuers arrived they found Harmer-Taylor in the partially submerged canoe, but she could not be revived.

Search officials used boat and air searches of the lake and shoreline to locate the missing young men with no success.

RCMP divers were called in to search the deep, glacier-fed lake that was narrowed down to the Bigelow Bay area of Slocan Lake.

Sgt. Little said Vernon Search and Rescue (SAR) utilized their Side-Scan sonar and Underwater Remote Vehicle Thursday afternoon and all day Friday without success.

Another company —  Bruce's Legacy from Wisconsin — has been brought in to assist with the search.

The company, which has a website, has similar equipment as Vernon SAR.

"Several potential sightings were explored, however, positive results were not obtained," Sgt. Little said.

The RCMP Dive Team, Arrow Lakes SAR and Slocan Lake Fire Department continue to assist in the search operations that were scaled back Monday to just one boat.

Sgt. Little was asked if the lack of success might cause officials to call off the search.

“No final decision has been reached upon terminating the search efforts at this time,” Sgt. Little said.

“This is evaluated at the conclusion of each search day.”