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The Body Of A Man Who Went Missing 3 Years Ago In A BC Lake Was Just Found By 2 Seniors

The couple, in their 70s, are experts at "underwater search and recovery".

Western Canada Editor
Divers attempting to find the missing person. Right: a boat used for searching for the missing person.

Divers attempting to find the missing person. Right: a boat used for searching for the missing person.

The body of a 26-year-old man who went missing in 2019 was found in B.C. by a married couple in their 70s.

Thomas Hines, who was originally from Nova Scotia, went missing while canoeing on Waugh Lake in Egmont, B.C.

He was believed to have drowned in the lake, although his body was never found, despite an exhaustive search by RCMP. The case has finally been closed now though, thanks to the couple, who are volunteer divers.

When Hines went missing three years ago, the Sunshine Coast RCMP "exhausted all available avenues."

They did an aerial search of the lake with a helicopter, sent out a dive team to search the interior, searched the shore and searched the surrounding forested area.

The police then turned to Gene and Sandy Ralston, who police said are "renowned for donating their time and expertise as underwater search and recovery specialists."

Police described them as being "methodical and painstaking in their search for bodies."

The pair has had success in cases that were similar, so the RCMP enlisted them for help.

The couple drove from Boise, Idaho, to the Sunshine Coast in B.C.

The Ralstons made the drive in April, when the U.S.-Canada border restrictions were lifted. They drove their RV and trailered sonar-equipped boat for a last attempt to find Hines.

On April 4, the Ralstons began their search and found Hines within 90 minutes.

Using their technology, they spotted something that they thought could be a body at the bottom of the lake.

"The Ralstons then deployed their submersible remote operated underwater vehicle (ROUV) and confirmed it was a human body," police said.

On April 6, divers brought Hines' body to the surface. Police noted that it was the Ralstons' 127th recovery.

Hines' family in Nova Scotia has since been notified that his body was found.

Cst. Vander Helm said that they are relieved they could finally "bring some peace and closure to Tom's family and friends."

    Morgan Leet
    Western Canada Editor
    Morgan Leet is the Western Canada Editor for Narcity Canada's Western Desk focused on interprovincial travel, and is based in Vancouver.
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