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Man still missing in Capilano River after 'catastrophic event'

Last Updated Oct 5, 2020 at 8:17 am PST

Summary

North Shore Rescue confirmed Friday a second person is still missing in the Capilano River

That person is believed to be the son of the man killed when a rush of water came surging out of the Cleveland Dam

Alan McMordie, with the rescue team, said a further search Friday turned up empty

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.

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.

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“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.”


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.”