NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — North Shore Rescue confirmed Friday a second person is still missing in the Capilano River after a man was killed when a rush of water came surging out of the Cleveland Dam the day before.
NEWS 1130 has confirmed the missing person is the son of the man who died.
.@NSRescue is involved in searching Capilano River right now for the son of the person who died yesterday when the dam suddenly released water during maintenance. Details on @NEWS1130 throughout the day.
— Sonia Aslam (@SoniaSAslam) October 2, 2020
Alan McMordie, with the rescue team, said North Vancouver RCMP asked members to continue searching the lower part of the Capilano River after receiving a report of a second missing person.
Searchers went out in kayaks Friday morning, while a helicopter assisted from above, but McMordie said the search turned up empty.
“We have no signs, we’ve done a really solid search of the lower river and until a sign shows up, we have no reason to head out again.”
The ages of the man who died and his son are not yet known. But RCMP said Friday the person who is still missing is an adult male.
Four others who went into the water on Thursday were rescued or swam to safety.
Cause of ‘major failure’ still unknown
According to Jerry Dobrovolny, chief administrative officer with Metro Vancouver Regional District, an investigation into the release of water from the dam is underway.
Dobrovolny said Friday the rapid change in water flow from the dam wasn’t expected when crews were doing routine maintenance, calling it a catastrophic event.
“It’s not correct to say it was a mechanical failure. It may have been, but we’re not there yet in the investigation,” he added. “When a major failure like this occurs, it’s usually a combination of several factors. There often will be human error, there often will be systems error.”
He adds in 33 years of experience as an engineer, he has witnessed other large infrastructure failures and Canada has fewer than other countries, but we need to ensure our systems properly maintained.
Yes, these failures can happen and “clearly something went wrong yesterday.”
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) October 2, 2020
Dobrovolny said the dam has never been equipped with sirens or alarms to warn the public of danger, so that’s going to be part of the investigation.
Findings from the report will be released as soon as possible, he said.
“We received a number of reports from witnesses on the Capilano River that a wash of water had dragged a number of people into the water and washed them downstream,” RCMP Sgt. Peter DeVries said Thursday.
“Unfortunately one person has died as a result of being drawn into the river. There were a number of anglers who were fishing next to the river at the time. It’s a very unfortunate and sad occasion and our hearts and thoughts and prayers go out to the family and the friends of the person who has died.”