By Barry Coulter
A desperate search is underway of the Bull River above the Aberfeldie Dam for a missing vehicle and driver.
Cpl Pat Prefontaine of the Cranbrook RCMP told Mike Turner Wednesday morning that a call came in at 10 p.m. Tuesday night about an accident on the Bull River Forest Service Road.
“Members attended the scene and determined that a vehicle had gone off a sharp curve and down a steep embankment,” Prefontaine said. “We couldn’t find the vehicle but we did find some debris. Since that time we’ve been searching for the vehicle and the 20-year-old driver.”
The accident happened about 25 kilometres up the Bull River Forest Service Road from the Fort Steele-Wardner Road, between the first and second bridges.
“There are tracks leading off the road,” Prefontaine said. “It’s quite a drop down. We’ve been searching from that point down to the dam reservoir.”
Also involved in the search are Cranbrook Search and Rescue and Kimberley Search and Rescue. Two helicopters are flying over the river and the banks. Prefontaine said extra ground search and rescue personnel has been called in, as well as Rope Search and Rescue and a Swift Water Rescue unit out of Nelson.
RCMP weren’t releasing the identity of the missing driver as of Wednesday morning. But family and friends were out in numbers searching, and Prefontaine said RCMP were doing everything to assist them.
People in kayaks were even patrolling the river, searching islands and log jams, Prefontaine said.
RCMP and Search and Rescue personnel have been involved in a similar search for a vehicle and two missing occupants in Findlay Creek west of Canal Flats. As in that situation, the water conditions are making the job more difficult.
“We’re at high water,” Prefontaine said. “The turbidity is very high. As it did at Findlay Creek, it hampers the search.