The Bella Coola River was high at the end of June due to a quick melt caused by a heat wave. (Angie Mindus photo)

The Bella Coola River was high at the end of June due to a quick melt caused by a heat wave. (Angie Mindus photo)

Search continues on Bella Coola River for two still missing after fishing boat capsizes

RCMP urges caution to searches as river remains hazardous and there are bears along the shorelines

The search for two individuals continues after Bella Coola RCMP were notified of a fishing guide boat that capsized on August 10, 2021.

“The boat was last seen at the confluence of the Saloompt River and the Bella Coola River where they had stopped for a period of time to fish. The boat was later spotted adrift without occupants near Walker Island,” noted Sgt. Chris Manseau, RCMP media relations officer, in an update released Tuesday (Aug. 17).

The body of one individual was found and recovered down stream of Walker Island the day of the incident Aug. 10.

He has been identified by family as Cameron Murdoch, a 42-year-old man from Victoria, B.C. His wife, Andrea Murdoch, 51, is still missing, said family.

Manseau said Bella Coola RCMP and local search parties from Campbell River, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and other areas have continued their search throughout the week as they are still looking for the 51-year-old and a 65-year-old man from Sorrento, B.C. The search efforts have been greatly assisted by the participation and indispensable local knowledge of the Nuxalk Coastal Guardian Watchmen, he noted.

Andrea is described as a Caucasian woman with blonde hair, blue eyes, 5’9 and 146 pounds. The 55-year-old man is described as Caucasian man with brown hair, green eyes, 5’10, 170 pounds, and was last seen wearing waterproof waders tan or green in colour, a camouflage hoodie.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family of the deceased and we continue to offer our support to all three families during this traumatic time and as we search for the missing two individuals,” said Staff Sgt. John Grierson, North District Advisory NCO.

The RCMP West Coast Marine Section continued their search efforts this past weekend with the continued assistance of the Nuxalk Coastal Guardian Watchmen.

“The families have each expressed their appreciation for Bella Coola RCMP and everyone who has assisted with the search efforts so far and everyone who continues to do so as your ongoing efforts are greatly appreciated,” said Staff Sergeant John Grierson. “We caution anyone who continues search efforts on their own to stay safe as the river and shoreline are very hazardous including significant bear presence in the area.”

Bella Coola RCMP is asking anyone with information, or who locates any debris or the missing people to contact them immediately at: (250) 799-5363.

Read More: Family mourns Victoria couple lost after guided fishing boat capsizes on Bella Coola River


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