August 12, 2014 12:55 pm

Man missing and feared drowned at Sikome Lake

CALGARY – Firefighters have resumed their search for a man who went missing at Sikome Lake.

Crews were called to the southeast waterway on Monday afternoon after a group of people on a dinghy fell into the water.

“We were all relaxing on the beach, we all of a sudden heard the emergency alarm go off,” says witness Caitlin O’Malley. “We ran out to see, we heard a woman screaming on a dinghy… and a search party go out.”

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Of the six people on the inflatable raft, four fell into the water – including an infant and a 29-year-old man.

“My sister in-law when swimming out to save them,” says Kaylee Archer. “She pulled the baby out of the water.”

“Everyone got pulled out but one guy,” added witness Stacey Jones.

The missing man is now feared drowned.

“He was splashing around, screaming for help. I jumped in right away,” says another witness, Taylor Cossette. “I couldn’t do anything about it because he went under and I tried to grab him up, he didn’t have a shirt on so I couldn’t grab him.”

The Calgary Fire Department’s aquatic rescue team is leading the search for the missing man.

“We’re exhausting all avenues,” says the Calgary Fire Department’s Paul Leblanc. “Making sure we search the pond as best as we can, and making sure we look outside of the pond also.”

He says although the lake is man-made, visibility is the murky water is poor, and divers can only see about half a metre in front of them.

“The visibility in the water is about 10-12 inches,” adds Leblanc. “[It’s] very hard for crews to see anything further than that. It’s mostly by feel. It’ll take a long period of time to search it thoroughly.”

The park is temporarily closed to the public as the search continues.

- With files from Tracy Nagai and Gary Bobrovitz

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