Military withdraws from Labrador search for downed float plane, victims
Gilles Morin is seen in this undated handout photo. Gilles Morin, 61-year-old pilot with Air Saguenay was one of seven people on board a float plane that crashed into a Labrador lake on July 15, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Jean Tremblay)
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- The Canadian military has ended its role in the drawn-out search for a float plane and three missing men following a crash into a Labrador lake almost a month ago.
The RCMP have been leading the search for victims and the downed de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver in Mistastin Lake, about 100 kilometres southwest of Nain.
Seven men, including the pilot, were on board the plane owned by airline Air Saguenay that crashed July 15. Four bodies have been recovered and three men are still missing.
Maj. Mark Gough with Maritime Forces Atlantic said military divers sent to Mistastin Lake to assist the RCMP began their work on July 31.
He said they concluded their work on Aug. 6 and left the site on Aug. 9.
Six members of the Forces' fleet diving unit from Halifax were at Mistastin Lake with remotely operated vehicles and side scan sonar technology to probe the extremely deep lake.
The RCMP did not respond to requests for comment Monday about the status of its own search efforts. The cause of the crash remains unknown.
Gough said the scale of the lake, the rough terrain and the unco-operative weather posed challenges.
"It's a big and deep lake," Gough said. "They had to cover a very extensive area at very significant depths for a lake .... It's a challenging area to work in."