FORT NELSON, B.C. – The RCMP and Search and Rescue are still looking for a missing woman who was trapped by ice in the Muskwa River near Fort Nelson.
Late Thursday, the RCMP provided more information about the incident. On Wednesday, April 22, 2020, at 11 p.m., the Northern Rockies RCMP received numerous calls from people who were parked along the shore of the Muskwa River when the water broke through the ice dams, flooded the shore, preventing the people from leaving.
The RCMP later found out that four people were stranded on the top of their vehicle on a small island and that their truck was submerged.
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Fort Nelson Fire Rescue was able to rescue all four people. They were treated for hypothermia at the scene.
Two other individuals were parked further up the shore in their car when the river level rose, and they were being carried away by the water.
Both people were able to get out of the vehicle; however, only one person successfully made it to shore. A female remains missing.
Police, Fire Rescue and Search and Rescue were on scene but due to darkness were unable to initiate search efforts for the missing person.
At first daylight on April 23, 2020, the search began, and the vehicle was quickly located in the river amid large ice pans.
An air search has unfortunately failed to locate the missing woman.
At this time, the river is extremely hazardous and unpredictable, preventing searchers from entering the water and searching the river banks.
Additional efforts for an air search will be made, weather permitting.
The Regional Municipality has closed access to the Muskwa River via the Muskwa River boat launches off the Airport Road/Sierra Yoyo Desan road and under the Muskaw River Bridge.
The Muskwa River is currently experiencing hazardously rapid water level changes due to ice movement.