By David F. Rooney
The RCMP’s search for two missing boaters on Kinbasket Lake north of Mica has turned into a recovery operation.
A statement from RCMP Staff Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky indicated that there is little hope of finding Michael Murphy, 55, of Mission or Allen Healy, 60, of Osoyoos, alive. They have not been seen since Monday evening after they went out on the lake in a 12-foot aluminum boat.
“Revelstoke RCMP and Revelstoke Search and Rescue have searched the area by foot, boat and helicopter, along with BC Hydro and Western Pacific Enterprises employees,” he said in a statement. “Over 150 square kilometres of water and shore line have been searched without any sign of the boat or males.”
Searchers did find boat seats, sandals and a cooler bag, all washed up on shore. These items are believed to have belonged to Murphy and Healy.
“Currently the operation has turned to a recovery operation with the RCMP focusing efforts on the water,” Grabinsky said. “The Underwater Recovery Team is present at the lake assessing the situation.”
Grabinsky said the Force has The RCMP has also brought in a private company, Ralstons Search and Recovery, capable of using Side-Scan SONAR and a Remote Operation Vehicle. That operation began Friday afternoon in an area of the lake about 2 kilometres east of the dam and 1.6 kilometres east of the boat launch. The water in that area is between 500 and 600 feet deep, well beyond the depth at which humans can dive.