At least 1 dead, 1 missing after boat flips on Lake Winnipeg


At least one person died and another was missing after a boat capsized on Lake Winnipeg at Bélair, Man., on Saturday.

STARS Air Ambulance spokesperson Fatima Khawaja confirmed multiple people were onboard the watercraft , a 5.1-metre skiff, when it flipped in the area off the east shore of the lake’s south basin.

It is unclear how many people were on the boat in total.

A CBC reporter saw one body loaded onto an ambulance, and sources at the scene said another person is missing.

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Overturned boat seen late afternoon

In an email, RCMP Cpl. Julie Courchaine said a witness on the shore saw an overturned boat and people in the water. Police responded to the call shortly after 4:30 p.m. CT on Saturday.

Members of the Canadian military, Canadian Coast Guard, RCMP, fire and paramedics took part in the search and rescue operations.

At about 7:45 p.m., the capsized boat was towed to the launch, where several RCMP vehicles from Selkirk and Powerview were parked.

At least 1 dead, 1 missing after boat flips on Lake Winnipeg
Members of the search and rescue operation pull in a boat that was recovered from Lake Winnipeg on Saturday. (Bartley Kives/CBC)

The boat launch is located at the bottom of Yellow Brick Road, a gravel road that meets Lake Winnipeg, where Saturday a flock of pelicans sat on the point to the south and a commercial fisher’s gillnet floated to the west.

More than a dozen family and friends arrived at the launch. Several sat on the breakwater and looked out at the lake as the search went on.

At least 1 dead, 1 missing after boat flips on Lake Winnipeg
Family and friends of the people who were aboard the capsized boat stare out at Lake Winnipeg. (Bartley Kives/CBC)

A Hercules military plane out of Winnipeg circled above, to the southwest of the boat ramp.

By dusk, most loved ones and searchers had left the boat ramp as the search wound down for the night.

At least 1 dead, 1 missing after boat flips on Lake Winnipeg
A search plane circles above an area of Lake Winnipeg southwest of the boat launch at Bélair, Man. (Bartley Kives/CBC)

Khawaja said the STARS crew landed and assessed the scene but did not transport any people from the area.

Courchaine said RCMP will have more information to release on Sunday.

The community of Bélair is located 91 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, in the Rural Municipality of Alexander.

At least 1 dead, 1 missing after boat flips on Lake Winnipeg
A rescue boat is pictured on the water off the southeastern shores of Lake Winnipeg early Saturday evening. (Bartley Kives/CBC)


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