Search for missing Quebec snowmobilers on hold: SQ
Published Monday, February 12, 2018 4:35PM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 12, 2018 6:35PM EST
The search for two missing snowmobilers was put on hold Monday, after the pair went missing early Friday morning.
While their snowmobile was found over the weekend, there's no been no sign of the men.
The last sign of two missing snowmobilers was out on the frozen waters of Lac Saint-Francois, near Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.
The snowmobile was found underwater, 300 metres from the shore of Hungry Bay in Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka.
The Surete du Quebec say the search is still ongoing - but their helicopter and dive teams have done all they can to locate the two man, aged 29 and 30.
Frank Mooijekind, the uncle of one of the men, said his nephew was celebrating earlier that afternoon because his wife had an ultrasound.
They are expecting their first child in a few weeks.
“They went to the (ultrasound appointment) to see how the baby is coming through, because she's going to give birth in a few weeks and everything was going very well. And with a few friends they went to celebrate a little bit,” he said.
His family is left wondering what went wrong and is trying to care for his wife.
“(She is) still devastated. The only thing we can do is support her and take care of her,” said Mooijekind, who said his nephew is an avid fisherman and snowmobiler familiar with the area they were last seen.
Those with waterfront property on Hungry Bay say it's not a popular spot for snowmobiling, especially since there are marked trails farther from the shore.
“The police came to us and ask if we saw a skidoo and we don't see any like that. I was born here and there is once in a while but very, very seldom,” said Michel Garneau of the Quebec Federation of Snowmobile Clubs.
The SQ said the investigation is ongoing.
This has been a particularly difficult year for snowmobiling – there have already been 14 deaths with about a month until the trails close.
The water where the pair went missing has a strong current and in places the ice is thin or non-existent said Garneau.
“You can't see what's going on beneath the surface. It may seem like there's lots of virgin snow and it seems nice. What you may not realize is there might be a current or a hotspot under there which means there might only be a couple of inches of ice,” he said.
Mooijekind said the family isn’t holding out much hope of finding the man alive.
“We hope to find the body, because if we don't find the body now we might find it in the spring. It's going to be hard for the family,” he said.
Police say they will decide whether to renew the search Tuesday.