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Updated: Extensive search suspended for woman swept way in Mamquam River, say Squamish RCMP

Search for woman in her 30s swept down Mamquam River called off due to difficult terrain and heavy currents

—Updated 5:30 p.m. on March 18—

The search for a woman who was swept away in the Mamquam River on Sunday has been called off as of Monday afternoon. 

In a news release, the Squamish RCMP say the woman in her 30s was with friends when she entered the Mamquam River, just west of the Powerhouse Bridge.
"Moments later, her friends heard a yell for help and saw the female getting swept down the river," the release states. 

Squamish RCMP, along with partner agencies, Squamish Search and Rescue, North Shore Search and Rescue, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Squamish Fire, and BC Ambulance Service were involved in search efforts over the past 24 hours.  

"Extensive searches of the areas were conducted including ground, marine, kayaks, helicopters, and drones," reads the release. 

"The area in which the female was last seen is surrounded by deep ravines with canyons, and difficult terrain."

Due to the terrain and heavy currents, the search was suspended as of 4 p.m. today.  (Monday, March 18.)

RCMP and SAR are in touch with the woman's family and requested privacy at this time.

"We ask anyone who is in the area who sees anything in the river or along the river banks, or has any additional information to contact the RCMP immediately," said Sgt. Dallas Langley of the Squamish RCMP.

Quote Squamish file: 2024-1529.

—Original story below—

Squamish Search and Rescue is asking that the public stay away from the lower 10-kilometre portion of the Mamquam River as it carries out a rescue mission. 

The area is temporarily closed after a person went into the Mamquam River west of the Powerhouse bridge at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday (March 17). 

Squamish SAR's Cindy Welsh, who is managing the task today for SSAR, told The Squamish Chief on Monday morning that the search for the individual is a multi-agency operation that has included BC Ambulance Service, RCMP, Fire Rescue, North Shore Search and Rescue and Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue.

This was the only call Squamish Search and Rescue was involved in yesterday, she said.

"We began an air search by helicopter, as well as our drone team was out until we lost the light—until it turned dark. All of our teams came in. And then we had North Shore Search and Rescue help us with their night vision capabilities, and they searched as well as marine search and rescue ... until about 11 o'clock last night," she said.

The SSAR drone team is about a year-old initiative that has been an "amazing" addition to such searches, Welsh said.

Welsh said that Squamish SAR alone had 29 volunteers involved in the search on Sunday. 

About six local volunteer rescuers were out again at 6:30 a.m. this morning and more are being called in, Welsh said.

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