A young man believed drowned in southern Alberta this weekend had jumped off a cliff into the Highwood River before eventually being swept away, investigators believe.
According to RCMP Cpl. Chantelle Kelly, the man jumped into the river from a ledge on Sunday evening and wasn’t wearing a life jacket. It’s believed he was not a strong swimmer.
The young man has been identified by family as 22-year-old Lual Ayach. RCMP said Ayach was there as part of a Canada Day celebration.
When Ayach jumped into the river, three people jumped in after him to try to rescue him but weren’t successful, Kelley said. There were a number other witnesses on the riverside.
Kelley said RCMP victims services is being made available to anyone who witnessed the incident and those who tried to help.
RCMP said alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the drowning.
Search crews were back on the river on Monday morning, including a dive team. Crews are focusing on the area between Nature’s Hideaway and the Bow River.
According to RCMP, the Nature’s Hideaway area is popular for swimming and cliff jumping. Investigators said with the recent rise in water levels, the river has been strong and turbulent.
Lake Herbert search
RCMP said Monday the search for a man presumed drowned in Lake Herbert, north of Lake Louise, is also continuing with divers expected to get into the water in the morning.
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Emergency crews were called to the lake at shortly after 7 p.m. on Sunday for reports of a possible drowning after a man is believed to have fallen off a paddle board.
Emergency crews searched the lake for the man in his 20s but weren’t able to find him and the search was eventually called off for the night.
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