Police do not suspect foul play after the body of a Pitt Meadows man was found just offshore in Alouette Lake on Saturday, Jan. 2.
Wade Bathurst, 39, was camping with family at Gold Creek Campground in Golden Ears Provincial Park on New Year’s Eve when he went missing.
At approximately 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, he told friends and family he was going to light off some fireworks at the beach and make a phone call, and he left the camp alone, said Rick Laing of Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue.
When he did not return, the family looked for him, and eventually returned to the camp. At daylight, they continued searching, then reported him missing. RMSAR got the call at approximately 2:30 p.m.
Laing said searchers with RMSAR were joined by search and rescue groups from Coquitlam, Surrey and Abbotsford, a Delta Police canine unit, and friends and family. They combed the area from the afternoon until 12:30 a.m. without finding Bathurst.
The search resumed on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. That morning a crew in a Zodiac found Bathurst approximately 15 feet off shore, about five feet under water.
He was fully clothed, and his fireworks were found on shore.
Laing said the shoreline was icy, and it is possible the man simply slipped and fell.
“It looks like it was just a real unfortunate accident,” said Laing.
A Ridge Meadows RCMP spokesman said no foul play is suspected, and police are assisting a coroner’s investigation to determine the cause of death.
Bathurst is the father to a 14-year-old son.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and many friends,” said Laing.