CALGARY – Crews have recovered a body from the depths of Sikome Lake, believed to be that of a man who went missing on Monday.
29-year-old Ali Shaikh was last seen around 4 p.m. when he fell off an inflatable raft and into the lake.
He was with six people at the time, who fell into the murky waters with him.
Everyone but Shaikh made it to shore safely, prompting an exhaustive search by the Calgary Fire Department.
Crews searched for the 29-year-old on Monday evening, and again on Tuesday. They focused on an area in the middle of the lake that’s three and a half metres deep, where Shaikh was last spotted by bystanders.
“Yesterday we had some of our public safety crew assisting with the fire department’s search of the lake,” said Jill Sawyer with Alberta Parks.
“We brought one of our own boats in, we brought side sonar technology to do a search. By the end of the day, we still hadn’t found anything.”
Family members say Shaikh did not know how to swim, and that he was not wearing a life jacket.
Anyone on a floatation device at Sikome Lake must have access to a life jacket, but are not required to wear it.
“We have free life jackets available at all of the popular lakes in provincial parks across Alberta,” says Sawyer. “It’s something that we really support.”
There are no lifeguards at the lake, however there were six aquatic safety specialists at the time of the incident.
“A lifeguard is designated according to the number of people that you might have at your facility,” says Sawyer. “And because this is a much larger facility, because we may have up to 15,000 people here, we can’t staff that ratio.”
Officials have not yet confirmed the body found on Wednesday is that of 29-year-old Ali Shaikh.
Sikome Lake is closed until further notice, so officials can determine if the water is safe for the public to swim in.