North Vancouver RCMP say the search for a man missing since being swept down the Capilano River by a torrent of water released when the Cleveland Dam was accidentally opened all the way will resume Saturday.
At that time the search could include police dive teams.
“Words can’t express how difficult it is when something so tragic happens with the loss of life and friends and loved ones where you don’t have answers,” said RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Peter DeVries. “Not only that, but to be without answers and to be without an explanation is one thing, but to be without the person you’ve lost, well, it’s terrible.”
The mishap at the damn happened Thursday afternoon during maintenance operations at the dam.
The rushing water swept several people downstream, with most eventually making their way to the shore or being rescued.
One man died after being swept from a fishing spot near the top of the river, and his body was recovered downstream by search and rescue teams.
Police have not said if the 27-year-old still missing is in any way related to the man who died.
The river is a popular fishing spot for people from the nearby Squamish First Nation and a number of members were there Thursday when the wall of water rushed downstream.
“We just had to get out of there to save our lives,” said Isaac Joseph, explaining that he and two cousins scrambled up the rocks to safety with just seconds to spare.
“I think I was the last one to get out of the water,” added his cousin Kiefer Baker. “I thought I was going to go down, but my one cousin, he’s a pretty solid guy, pretty husky dude, he just grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the water.”
Metro Vancouver, the government agency responsible for operating the dam, says an investigation is underway to determine how it was allowed to be fully opened without warning to people in and around the river.