Search resumes for missing Trail man

The search for Michael Guthrie, a missing Trail man, resumed on Monday as RCMP deployed its underwater sonar equipment for a second day.

The search for Michael Guthrie, a missing Trail man, resumed on Monday as RCMP deployed its underwater sonar equipment for a second day.

“We are still acting on the premise that Mr. Guthrie was unfortunately drowned in the lake,” said Sgt. Darryl Little, of the Kootenay Boundary Regional Detachment.

“This is based on a witness account of the event itself.”

A province-wide RCMP underwater recovery team was summoned and arrived in Nakusp along with the sonar equipment on Saturday.

“Members are located throughout the province as they perform these duties in addition to their normal work,” explained Sgt. Little.

“Also, the side scan sonar is a newly purchase piece of equipment and has not been used in this area previously.”

The side-scan sonar is towed below the boat and projects a computer image of the lake bottom.

On Sunday, the RCMP underwater recovery team began to scour the bottom of Little Wilson Lake using side-scan sonar equipment, but were unsuccessful in locating Mr. Guthrie, said Sgt. Darryl Little of the Kootenay Boundary Regional Detachment in a press release.

At press time, almost one third of the lake had been searched, and using the sonar, two more days are needed to complete the sweep of the lake.

Guthrie has been presumed drowned since his fishing canoe capsized on May 25.

Slocan Lake RCMP responded to a call from two Trail men, who reported Guthrie missing.

At that time, it was determined that Guthrie had been fishing with one of the men in the canoe, according to Nakusp/Slocan Lake RCMP Cpl. Ryan Fehr.

The canoe capsized and both men entered the water; one was able to swim to shore (while) the other is presumed drowned, said Cpl. Fehr.

If the search of the lake is unsuccessful, it has not yet been determined how long the recovery efforts will continue.

“This is a difficult decision and is made in consultation with the family and dive team,” said Sgt. Little.

Little Wilson Lake, located near New Denver, is described as high-alpine with frigid water this time of year.

The lake is approximately 63 acres in size with an average depth of 39 feet, and areas over 80 feet in depth.