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Search suspended for Edmonton man swept away in B.C.’s Kootenay River

Health Matters: Lifesaving tips to prevent drowning
Lifesaving tips to prevent drowning

B.C. RCMP say they have made the “difficult decision” to suspend the search for an Edmonton swept away in the Kootenay River.

The man was with his family at Canal Flats, about 80 kilometres north of Cranbrook, when the tragedy unfolded around 3:30 p.m., Thursday.

Read more: Amid rash of B.C. drownings, the biggest risk in the water may be overconfidence: report

Police say the man entered the river in an attempt to rescue his dog, which had become caught in the current.

“The victim tried to reach his dog when he suddenly lost his footing, fell into the water and failed to resurface,” said B.C. RCMP Southeast District spokesperson Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

“The family’s dog survived and managed to swim back to shore.”

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Edmonton football player Nathan Falito drowns in Shuswap Lake
Edmonton football player Nathan Falito drowns in Shuswap Lake

Police plus search and rescue with K9 and air support scoured the area, but were unable to locate the man on Thursday.

On Friday, police divers returned to the site, but were stymied by challenging river conditions.

READ MORE: ‘Outgoing, dynamic and bright’ football player identified as Shuswap Lake drowning victim

“Investigators now say “all possible efforts” to safely locate and rescue the 43-year-old have been exhausted.

Police say officials will continue to monitor the river level and do regular shoreline and aerial searches when possible.