Kayak owners come forward ending Coquitlam River search

The owners of two unmanned kayaks found overturned in the Coquitlam River have come forward to claim the vessels, ending a search that began Saturday afternoon.

Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughlin told The Tri-City News that authorities spoke with the pair on Monday after Coquitlam Search and Rescue spent much of the weekend scouring the area for what they thought could have been lost boaters.

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McLaughlin added that the two had been navigating the river, which was unusually swollen on Saturday, when they somehow kayaks somehow got away from them.

"It sounds like they just weren't prepared for the conditions," he said, adding that neither person was hurt in the incident. 

Searchers were notified Saturday at 4 p.m. when a group of fishermen spotted an unmanned kayak near where Kingsway Avenue crosses the Coquitlam River in Port Coquitlam. A second identical blue Pelican brand kayak was later found south of David Avenue pinned to a rock. 

Coquitlam SAR said the image of the vessel "illustrates the hazards of the high water levels in the Coquitlam River at this time of year — the force of the water is huge and can pin a swimmer as easily as a boat."

Saying they feared the worst, SAR sent 20 members into the area Saturday night and dispatched a Talon helicopter to assist with the search. The RCMP's Air 1 also responded.



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