Snowmobiler Missing on Lake in Northern Manitoba

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The family of a 29-year-old northern Manitoba man are frantically hoping he’s found after reporting him missing on April 14.

RCMP say Brian Denechezhe of Lac Brochet was on his snowmobile April 12, when he didn’t arrive back from his trip to the community of Brochet.

On April 15, a search commenced including RCMP and local residents of both communities. Snowmobile trails were scoured, along with an aerial search, but without any success.

On Sunday, April 18, a helicopter was chartered by the RCMP to get a closer look at the surrounding trails and lakes. Sunday afternoon, members of the search team came across Denechezhe’s snowmobile submerged in 6 feet of water about 16 km southwest of Lac Brochet on Lac Brochet Lake. The snowmobile was located about 50 feet from the shore, but without Denechezhe.

Although familiar with the area, the missing man did not have survival gear on him and cannot swim. Police say open water and fast currents where the snowmobile was found are considered a hazard. Recent warm weather is also melting the ice on the lake, posing a greater risk to search crews.

The RCMP Under Water Recovery Team will be on scene Tuesday to help in the search.

Lac Brochet is about 200 kilometres north of Lynn Lake.

UPDATE: April 21 — RCMP say the body of Brian Denechezhe was located on April 20 at about 2 p.m. It’s believed he had gone through the ice while riding his snowmobile. His body has been transported to Winnipeg for an autopsy.