Search moves to recovery on Churchill River

James
James McLeod
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Tragedy

Two days after three young men plunged over Muskrat Falls on Labrador's Churchill River, search and rescue workers had abandoned hope of finding any survivors.

RCMP Sgt. Guy Caines said he would meet with family members Thursday afternoon to talk about scaling back the search efforts.

Searchers scan the Churchill River near Muskrat Falls looking for three young men who went over the falls Tuesday evening. - Photo by Troy Turner/Transcontinental Media

Two days after three young men plunged over Muskrat Falls on Labrador's Churchill River, search and rescue workers had abandoned hope of finding any survivors.

RCMP Sgt. Guy Caines said he would meet with family members Thursday afternoon to talk about scaling back the search efforts.

"Obviously, at some point in time we have to make a decision on resources and the use of them, including the helicopter," Caines said. "We're thinking along those lines now."

Tuesday evening, three 18- and 19-year-old students from the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) in Happy Valley-Goose Bay were in a canoe above the falls and got pulled over.

Caines said with the force of the falls, it was extremely unlikely they survived, and locating them will be difficult.

"Basically it's like a big washing machine and then there's whirlpools within that, which suck things down," he said, adding some whirlpools can be 280 feet deep. "Needless to say, if that's the area where they went in, then it's impossible for us to search and try to recover anything."

One of the three men was from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, one was from Cartwright and the third was from Charlottetown, in Labrador.

Happy Valley-Goose Bay Mayor Leo Abbass said people are coping as best they can.

"They're upset. They're concerned about the family and friends," he said. "They want these young men brought home."

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Organizations: CNA, RCMP

Geographic location: Churchill River, Happy Valley, Goose Bay Cartwright Charlottetown Labrador

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