SAR Teams search Findlay Creek for missing man

Sparwood, Columbia Valley, Golden, Cranbrook and Kimberley teams have been searching since Saturday morning

Search and Rescue teams from all over the East Kootenay are on the scene in the Findlay Creek area, looking for a Canal Flats man who fell off a bridge while trying to free his stuck vehicle.

Kimberley RCMP Cpl. Chris Newel says the search began Friday night but was called off due to dangerous conditions and darkness.

“RCMP received a call around midnight of collision on the Skookumchuck Forest Service Road Bridge just off Findlay Creek Forest Service Road,” Newel said.  “The driver had failed to negotiate a curve onto the bridge and became high centered on the guardrail.  While attempting to free the vehicle he fell off the bridge into the creek below.”

Newel says the man was outside the vehicle trying to push it free when he fell.

“BC Ambulance, Canal Flats Fire Dept, RCMP and Search and Rescue teams attended and attempted to locate the male but the search was called off due to dangerous conditions and limited search ability given the darkness and terrain.”

The search resumed early Saturday morning with SAR teams from Sparwood, Columbia Valley, Golden, Cranbrook and Kimberley.

“Over 20 team members many of whom are trained in Swift Water Rescue are involved in the search, which went on until dusk,” he said.

Teams were back out on Sunday.

In June 2013, two men went into Findlay Creek in a truck and rescuers had great difficulty searching because of high water. Newel says the the water is much lower at this time, but still moving quickly which is restricting search efforts.

“The rugged trained has created difficult conditions that the teams have overcome to effectively search the creek.”

A collision analyst attended and conducted a scene examination given the circumstances.

The subject is a 51-year-old male from Canal Flats; police are working with the family during this difficult time.

Newel had high praise for the search teams.

“SAR teams throughout the province continually train and upgrade their skills for situations like this. The teamwork and commitment shown during this incident is excellent.  All the team members are volunteers who have come out to assist the family, RCMP and the community. For that we are thankful”.

The area is approximately 50 km northeast of Kimberley and 15 km west of  Canal Flats.