Holding out 'slim hope,' RCMP say missing Buntzen Lake swimmer likely dead

The RCMP dive team have been searching Buntzen Lake for a missing Surrey man. The call for help came Tuesday afternoon when a group of friends couldn't locate the man near Dog Beach.

Coquitlam RCMP are holding out hope, but it’s so slim they’re now considering the effort to find a missing swimmer near Coquitlam to be a recovery mission.

Search underway for missing swimmer at Buntzen Lake near Coquitlam

The likely tragedy culminated from an outing of four or five people who were on the water in Buntzen Lake.

A 19-year-old man from Surrey was there one minute but gone the next, according to Cpl. Michael McLaughlin of the Coquitlam RCMP.

“The best information we have is that this man was swimming with his friends offshore, they were using novelty flotation devices — people call them ‘floaties’ — to stay afloat,” McLaughlin said.

“At one point he was with his friends and they turned around and couldn’t see him. They found the novelty flotation device he was using but, so far, not him.”

The teenager went missing just after 4 p.m., McLaughlin said, adding that the incident serves as another reminder that a personal flotation device, like a life jacket, is the best and safest way to stay afloat, if needed.

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“There’s no indication at this point that there’s any foul play or anything suspicious,” McLaughlin said. “No drugs or alcohol, no indication of that, this just looks like a sad incident,” McLaughlin added.

“Our information is that the missing man wasn’t a particularly strong swimmer.”

RCMP and search-and-rescue crews have been trying to find the missing man.

An RCMP dive team has also been sent into the water to search.

Police are working with the family of the missing man, who are well aware of the situation, McLaughlin said.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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