National News

One dead three missing in BC canoe accident

By The Canadian Press

NELSON, B.C. - A family friend says the woman who perished in a weekend boating accident in B.C. in which three others remained missing was an optimistic person filled with life.

Dan Nicholson, a family friend, says that Lily Harmer-Taylor was the 19-year-old woman who died after a canoe overturned in Slocan Lake, in southern B.C.'s West Kootenay region.

"She grew up in the community — I've known her for many, many years," said Nicholson. "She was just a marvellous woman."

Police have not confirmed the dead woman's identity.

Police and local fire and rescue teams continued to sweep Slocan Lake for three male youths who were in the canoe and remain missing.

Nicholson says that he lent his canoe to the four, who were a group of close friends.

He says the group included Harmer-Taylor, Jule Wiltshire-Padfield, 15, Hayden Kyle, 21, — who were all from the town of New Denver — and Skye Donnet,18, originally from Gibsons on B.C.'s coast.

Nicholson says Harmer-Taylor was planning on going on a hitchhiking trip across Canada with Wiltshire-Padfield, who he says was her boyfriend.

He says Kyle had recently got a job as an electrician and that Donnet was working in construction.

Nicholson says they were all dear friends who would come over to his place whenever they needed a place to stay.

"I loved those kids, they were wonderful, they were delightful, they brought joy to my life," he said.

RCMP Sgt. Darryl Little says emergency crews were called out to Slocan Lake on Saturday, where they found an unconscious woman and rushed her to hospital.

She later died and grief counselling is now available at a New Denver elementary school.

A rescue operation continues amid calm weather for the three other occupants of the canoe.

He says the water is ice cold and glacier fed and that dive and boat patrols will continue to sweep the area for survivors.

A helicopter search around the area has yielded no results, and has been called off, he said.

Little says none of the youths appeared to be wearing life jackets and that conditions were relatively calm when the boat overturned Saturday.

-By Steven Chua in Vancouver

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