A Vancouver man slipped into the Ashlu River Monday (Aug. 2) and hasn't been seen since.
The unidentified 18-year-old was at the river in the Upper Squamish Valley area with his father and two friends. He slipped and fell into the river in a canyon area at about 2 p.m.
Squamish RCMP Cpl. Dave Ritchie said the adults and two young people were hiking in the Ashlu area. They stopped to eat lunch and that is when the accident happened. He described the fall as purely accidental and the police have no reason to suspect foul play. Ritchie added that alcohol was not a factor in the mishap.
"He fell in a rocky area and into fast running water," Ritchie said.
The father of the 18-year-old used a cell phone to call 911 after the accident. The Squamish Emergency Program volunteers were contacted and a search and rescue team began looking for the missing Vancouver resident. According to Ritchie, a helicopter aided in the search both days.
Local kayaker Stuart Smith was in the area soon after the accident. Smith described the water level as moderate at the time.
According to Smith, the victim went into the water near the Mile 25 Bridge. The bridge crosses the Ashlu near a rock quarry. There is a waterfall just downstream of the bridge that Smith estimates is 12 metres high.
After the searching wrapped up on Tuesday, Ritchie said the search was suspended.
"There will be periodic fly overs and patrols," Ritchie said. He added that the RCMP helicopter will do the searching from the air and the local search and rescue volunteers will return to monitor the river flows and check certain areas once the river flows drop.
At this point, Ritchie said the victim is considered missing and presumed drowned. The RCMP did not have permission from the victim's family members to release the name of the missing hiker as of The Chief's press deadline.