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Search for person in river at Conestogo comes up empty

Police suspended a search for a person who was reportedly seen swimming the Grand River in Conestogo on July 9.

Rescue crews gathered on Conestogo bridge July 10 to search for a person reported swimming in the high water. Nothing was found, and the search was called off.[elena maystruk / the observer]
Rescue crews gathered on Conestogo bridge July 10 to search for a person reported swimming in the high water. Nothing was found, and the search was called off. [elena maystruk / the observer]
A woman who had been driving across a bridge reported seeing what she thought was a swimmer, wearing a red shirt and snorkel, in the water. When she turned her car around and went back to the bridge the figure was gone. She said there was also a canoe on the riverbank. She called the police immediately at about 4:20 p.m. Woolwich Township, Kitchener and Cambridge emergency crews responded to the Sawmill Road Bridge near Golf Course Road, where rescuers spread out from Conestogo to the Bridge Street span over the Grand in Kitchener.

Crews scoured the banks and used the Cambridge Fire Department’s boat to check the water for most of the evening but failed to locate anything except a beached canoe. The search continued until about 8 p.m., turning up nothing, said Woolwich deputy fire chief Dale Martin.

The canoe was retrieved from the river and was claimed by its owner, who was not related to the incident.

“There were no missing persons reported that we were aware of, the police had checked that, and we had no signs of anybody. The canoe was claimed by a person that had lost it. It had gotten away because the water was higher than normal. It was totally unrelated,” Martin said.

A part of Sawmill Road at and around the bridge was closed for the search, causing some traffic delays along the bridge.

The search was suspended the following day (July 10). The investigation will continue only if new details come to light.

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