UPDATE: Divers make new attempt to reach vessel

Plan to dive on Tuesday cancelled due to rough seas and bad weather

The search continues for the two missing boaters in Campbell River after a dive yesterday had to be cancelled.

Barry Sewid, 34, and Mike Kelly, 29, were crew members of a 67-foot steel landing craft, privately owned, which was on its way to Campbell River when it started taking on water around 2 a.m. Saturday.  When it capsized, it was approximately half a mile due north from the docks at the former Elk Falls Mill in 75 metres of water.

Searchers located the sunken vessel and marked it. A ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) was deployed. According to sources, the first task the ROV faced was to locate the vessel with sonar but attempts to find the ship were unsuccessful on the first day. On the second day the ROV crew located the ship 1,000 feet away from the original location given. The ROV was deployed and was able to attach a line to the actual vessel and enter it.

A dive to the vessel on Monday by RCMP divers had to be cancelled because the weather and tides made it unsafe..

Plans to dive to the vessel Tuesday by The RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (dive team) had to be called off again due to rough seas and bad weather. The search efforts continue today with a possible dive by the RCMP dive team, tides and weather permitting.

Early Saturday morning Campbell River RCMP were advised by Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) that a small vessel was taking on water approximately five kilometres north of Campbell River with three males were on board.

Campbell River RCMP, RCMP vessel PV Higgit, the Cormorant Helicopter from CFB Comox, and three coast guard vessels responded at 2:48 a.m. this morning.

An Alaskan ferry in the area answered the mayday and deployed a zodiac into the water. One man, Kyle Benoit, who had escaped as the vessel capsized was recovered.  The two other men were not located.

Campbell River RCMP provided lights on the shoreline to help guide the two missing men in case they were attempting to swim to shore.

A comprehensive search by sea, air and land, with the assistance of Campbell River Ground Search and Rescue has failed to turn up any signs of the two missing men.

Transport Canada has been advised and the Campbell River RCMP has control of the investigation as a missing persons case.

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