N.S. RCMP searching for missing swimmer in Annapolis River
HALIFAX -- It’s been more than 24 hours since a 25-year-old woman went missing while swimming in the Annapolis River in Middleton, N.S. on Saturday afternoon.
According to police, just before 3 p.m. on Sept. 11, two women were swimming from a dock on the Annapolis River, when both women encountered difficulty with the current.
Middleton resident Chris Hewlett says his wife was with the missing swimmer when it all happened.
“They were going to go for a quick swim, just 20 minutes,” says Hewlett, who was searching with his own kayak on Sunday.
But Hewlett says when his wife came back onto the dock, she noticed her friend was in trouble.
“So my wife jumped back in, and she latched onto my wife, and they both kind of went under, and then the current brought them to the shoreline,” says Hewlett.
The river is known to have strong currents, a muddy bottom with lots of sediment, and lots of weedy grass.
Hewlett says his wife grabbed the weeds and pulled herself ashore, calling 911 when she saw that her friend had disappeared.
Police have not identified the missing swimmer, who Hewlett says was visiting the area from out of province. Police still haven’t reached her family.
Search and Rescue personnel from throughout the Annapolis Valley area have spent hours searching in and around the banks of the Annapolis River, and have used a variety of resources to try to find her.
“The search conditions are not the best,” says Sgt. Andrew Joyce of the N.S. RCMP. “We had challenges using ground search and rescue, because along the river it isn’t safe, and we felt we could look at that via boat and via drone.”
After putting in a full weekend of searching, first responders ended Sunday’s search just before 4 p.m.
Now that 24 hours have passed, Joyce says crews will reassess the situation.
“We had one of our air services involved yesterday, that was suspended due to the tree cover along the shore line,” says Joyce.
“It’s really sad,” says Sylvester Atkinson, mayor of Middleton.
Atkinson says he doesn’t remember anything like this happening in the Middleton area of the river before, and that he’s grateful for all the resources being used for the search.
“To search, and to do what can be done, and we also realize that not every time are we successful in searches,” says Atkinson.
Hewlett says he plans to return to the area Monday with his kayak, because he has to keep looking.
“Just to see if I can find our friend,” says Hewlett.