‘It’s tragic’: Authorities believe they found both snowmobilers missing since November

Members of a volunteer dive team recovered the body of a female authorities believe is one of two snowmobilers who have been missing since November 20.

This is the second recovery of a body in the past 48 hours after the Hutterain Emergency Aquatic Response Team (HEART) pulled a male from the Winnipeg River on Wednesday.

HEART began a search of the area of the river on Sunday.

On Nov. 20, two people, a man and a woman, on a snowmobile went through the ice while trying to cross the river at Sagkeeng First Nation.

Authorities have been searching since then – but have not released many details of the male who was found.

“A body was recovered yesterday (Wednesday) around 2:30 p.m. by volunteer divers,” said Manitoba RCMP Spokesperson Tara Seel.

“We do not have a positive identification.”

Sagkeeng First Nation is 130 km northeast of Winnipeg along the Winnipeg River.

“It’s tragic right.  Anytime you hear something like this it doesn’t matter if it’s youth, elders, young people, you know when you lost a member in the community – the whole community’s affected right,” said Sagkeeng First Nation Chief Derrick Henderson.

HEART located the remains in the murky, fast moving river using an underwater remote controlled camera called a rover.

(Members of HEART search the waters near Sagkeeng First Nation. Photo: Ashley Brandson/APTN)

Henderson said he contacted the family to tell them a body was found.

“We did a prayer,” he said. “The Catholic Minister came down here and did a prayer uh for the body that was retrieved.”

The discoveries come days after HEART located the snowmobile also using an underwater camera.

“It’s more of a relief right, because they knew that the body was there but it’s a matter of us retrieving it and then having closure now, right”

The RCMP said an autopsy is being scheduled but a date has not been confirmed.

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