After six days of searching for a missing Lethbridge teen on the Oldman River, the city has announced divers will no longer be used in the search.
Divers with the Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services water rescue team have been searching the river since Friday night, when 14-year-old Mason Soderstrom was swept into the river.
“This is obviously not the outcome we had hoped for thus far,” deputy fire chief Dana Terry said. “Our crews have been working tirelessly to find this young man and help to bring closure to his family.
“At this point, we will be ceasing our dive efforts to transition into a surface recovery search.”
Emergency crews were called at around 7:40 p.m. Friday after Soderstrom and a friend were crossing the river and the teen lost his footing and went under the water.
The two were with the friend’s grandmother and she tried to pull Soderstrom to safety, but was unable to, police said.
“This is a tragic situation and I want to assure the community we’re doing everything we can to find this boy and give his parents a sense of closure,” Staff Sgt. Ryan Stef of the Criminal Investigation Section said. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Police said, at this time, the teen is presumed drowned and there is no evidence to suggest foul play.
Once the body is found the investigation will continue as a sudden death and the Medical Examiner’s office will be notified.
An autopsy will be completed and the investigation will continue, depending on the results.
The city said the surface search will involve scanning the river and searching the shoreline.
The Lethbridge victim and witness services unit is providing support to the family and witnesses.
Alexander Wilderness Park will remain closed while the search continues.
– With files from Caley Ramsay, Global News
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