Lac du Bonnet RCMP are searching for a missing snowmobiler, 50-year-old Dan Lemay of Grunthal, after he lost contact with family members while out on a snowmobile trip headed towards Rennie, Manitoba.
On February 21, 2021, at approximately 11:25pm, Lac du Bonnet RCMP received a report of an overdue snowmobiler. Investigation determined that 50-year-old Dan Lemay of Grunthal, Manitoba, left Pinewood Lodge on a snowmobile trip around 4pm to retrieve a broken snowmobile that was left at a location in Rennie, Manitoba. Lemay had called a family member at approximately 7:15pm to advise that he was unsure of his location, but believed he was close to Nutimik Lake. The last contact he made was to a family member at 9:15pm, saying he thought he was near Pinewood Lodge.
Police say that by 8am on February 22, local riders, who were familiar all the snowmobile trails in the area, had been out looking for Lemay, but were unable to locate him.
RCMP report that Civil Air Search and Rescue Association had a plane in the air looking for Lemay. RCMP also brought in a ground search team as did the Office of the Fire Commissioner, who continue to search on foot and with snowmobiles.
On February 23, a helicopter with thermal technology is reported to be flying in the area looking for any heat signatures that may be Lemay. The ground search teams continue their efforts to locate Lemay.
Lemay was dressed for the conditions and he is reported to know the area. However, police are concerned for his wellbeing as he has been out of contact for quite some time and does not have supplies, such as food and water, with him.
Police and the Office of the Fire Commissioner continue their search efforts.
On February 23, 2021, at approximately 5pm, RCMP called off the search for Dan Lemay.
Two reports of a lone snowmobiler heading northbound on Eleanor Lake on the night of February 21, near the time Lemay was reported missing, led aerial searchers to an area of open water. Trained ice rescue technicians from the Office of the Fire Commissioner attended to the open water and located snowmobile tracks that led to broken ice. There were no tracks leading away from the site.
Two days of searching by more than 50 volunteers and numerous trained search and rescue teams, which covered hundreds of kilometres of trails, did not lead to any other evidence of where Lemay or his snowmobile may have gone. Searchers believe Lemay entered the water and did not resurface. He is presumed drowned.
The search for Lemay and the snowmobile will resume in the spring once conditions are safe for a dive team to engage in the search.