Missing man presumed drowned in Harrison Lake

RCMP have officially scaled back the search for Raymond Salmen, with the focus shifting from rescue to recovery.

A man who went missing while camping near Harrison Lake is now presumed to have drowned, and the focus of search efforts has shifted from rescue to recovery.

Raymond Salmen went missing June 9 from an area known as the 48 kilometre mark, prompting Agassiz RCMP to lead a massive land-and-water search.

In the afternoon of June 13, RCMP Air Services saw balloons at a secluded beach approximately 400 metres north of his campsite. Ground teams found clothing and spent shell casings. Their conclusion; Salmen may have been hurt but, because of cliffs and rocky outcrops, couldn’t get off the beach. They theorize that he fired his gun, trying to get someone’s attention.

When that didn’t work he tried, and failed, to swim back to his camp.

A search of the lake on June 14 didn’t find anything.

“This section of Harrison Lake is very deep, and the water rapidly plunges to a depth of 160 metres,” said RCMP Cpl. Len vanNieuwenhuizen. “The depth of the lake and the sunken physical features of logs and boulders present challenges in locating Mr. Salmen.”

Agassiz RCMP will continue looking.

In the meantime, Salmens’ next of kin have been notified.

Anyone who has info that might be useful in determining what happened is asked to contact the Agassiz RCMP at 604-796-2211 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

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