At least one person has died and a search is underway for at least one other boater on Saturday after a boat capsized on Lake Winnipeg at Bélair, Man.
STARS Air Ambulance spokesperson Fatima Khawaja confirmed multiple people were onboard the watercraft when it flipped in the area off the east shore of the lake’s south basin.
It is unclear how many people were on the boat in total.
A CBC reporter saw one body loaded onto an ambulance, and sources at the scene said another person is missing.
Overturned boat seen late afternoon
In an email, RCMP Cpl. Julie Courchaine said a witness on the shore saw an overturned boat and people in the water. Police responded to the call shortly after 4:30 p.m. CT on Saturday.
Members of the Canadian military, RCMP, fire and paramedics are taking part in the search and rescue operations, which were continuing Saturday evening.
At about 7:45 p.m., the capsized boat was towed to the launch, where several RCMP vehicles from Selkirk and Powerview were parked. A body was loaded onto an ambulance.
More than a dozen family and friends arrived at the launch. Several sat on the breakwater and looked out at the lake as the search went on.
The boat ramp is located at the bottom of Yellow Brick Road, a gravel road that meets Lake Winnipeg, where Saturday a flock of pelicans sat on the point to the south and a commercial fisher’s gillnet floated to the west.
A Hercules military plane out of Winnipeg circled above, to the southwest of the boat ramp.
Khawaja said the STARS crew landed and assessed the scene but did not transport any people from the area.
RCMP and other first responders and partners are on the scene now, police said.
Police on the scene declined to speak. Courchaine said RCMP will have more information to release on Sunday.
The community of Bélair is located 91 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, in the Rural Municipality of Alexander.