July 21st, 2024

SEASAR uses training exercise for one last, unsuccessful search for missing man

By Mo Cranker on July 2, 2017.

SEASAR heads out into the South Saskatchewan River at the Strathcona Island Park boat launch on for a man who went missing near Echo Dale Regional Park. -- NEWS FILE PHOTO

Medicine Hat News

South East Alberta Search and Rescue traveled by boat Sunday from Sandy Point Park all the way back to Strathcona Island Park holding a group-training exercise, while searching for the man who went missing in the South Saskatchewan River weeks ago.

SEASAR president Paul Carolan says the group has wanted to do a run from Sandy Point ever since it got its boat, and decided now was a good time to do so.

“This is something we have been planning on doing for a while,” said Carolan. “We have to maximize the amount of time we can train during the summer, especially when it is safe to do so. We set out from Sandy Point at around 7 a.m. and got back here around 1 p.m. It’s been a long day, but we’ve gotten a lot done.”

Aside from training the team on a run down from Sandy Point, Carolan says the group used the day to search the span of the river from Sandy Point to Medicine Hat.

“Today we were actively looking for the man,” he said. “This is something that is defined as targeted training. We know that there is potential for someone like that to be found in the river. Because of that we made sure we had extra spotters on the boat to keep a lookout the entire time, as well as navigating safely.”

Carolan says the volunteers at SEASAR learned a lot from the search for the man, especially the opening week.

“To be back-to-back-to-back five days in a row was a big demand on the team for sure, and we really did learn a lot from those days,” he said. “Being able to plan for that, and the capacities that go around it were really good learning points for us.”

Carolan says SEASAR will no longer be actively looking for the man, but will respond to calls where people report something that could be the missing individual.

“We’ll always be looking, but we’re now at the point where unless there is a report of something, we can’t really look anywhere else,” he said. “As the river levels change, things can change very quickly. The river level is continuing to drop, which could very well lead to something where someone calls and wants something checked out.”

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