Manitoba RCMP have called off a search for a missing snowmobiler and presume that the man has drowned.
Dan Lemay, 50, left Pinewood Lodge in Whiteshell Provincial Park on a snowmobile around 4 p.m. Sunday to retrieve a broken snowmobile that was left in Rennie, Manitoba.
Police say searchers believe Lemay drowned when he entered the water and was unable to resurface.
“Two reports of a lone snowmobiler heading northbound on Eleanor Lake on the night of February 21, near the time Lemay was reported missing, led aerial searchers to an area of open water,” police said in a release late Tuesday.
“Trained ice rescue technicians from the Office of the Fire Commissioner attended to the open water and located snowmobile tracks that led to broken ice. There were no tracks leading away from the site.”
The Grunthal man became overdue after he called a family member at around 7:15 p.m. and reported he was unsure of his location, which he believed was close to Nutimik Lake. Two hours later, he reported he thought he was near Pinewood Lodge. That was the last contact Lemay had with his family.
More than 50 volunteers helped with search efforts over the past two days, covering hundreds of kilometres of trails.
Due to unsafe water conditions, the search for Lemay and his snowmobile will resume in the spring once a dive team can access the site.