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Dive team looks for bodies

An RCMP dive team is searching a British Columbia lake for the bodies of three males as the grieving residents of New Denver brace themselves for more bad news.

Sgt. Darryl Little said eight divers entered the water Monday morning in hopes of finding the bodies after a canoe flipped over on Slocan Lake.

Emergency crews were called to the lake on Saturday, where they found a 19-year-old woman unconscious in the canoe and rushed her to hospital.

Lily Harmer-Taylor died, and the air and ground search for the males has turned up no clues of their whereabouts.

The missing are 15-year-old Jule Wiltshire-Padfield, 21-year-old Hayden Kyle and 19-year-old Skye Donnet.

"The community is very devastated," Little said. "They are a tight-knit community so they're leaning on each other for support and trying to weather through this terrible tragedy."

Mayor Ann Bunka of the village of New Denver is thanking search and rescue crews for their efforts and says residents are focusing on supporting the families and friends of the four canoeists.

"This is a close-knit community that rallies together in times of need, and never has this been more apparent," she said.

"The outpouring of assistance to do whatever is needed is a trademark of this community and at times of loss is a reminder of why we live here."

Grief counsellors are available at the village high school, where one of the canoeists was to graduate in a few weeks.

Police have said the canoeists were not wearing life jackets but the water is so frigid that they would not have survived in it for long.

The Canadian Press

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