On the fifth day of searching, Fort Chipewyan RCMP have confirmed that they've recovered the boot of one of four missing hunters.
The four men went missing on Sunday after they went for a hunting trip on the Rocher River, north of the northern Alberta community. A large search started Monday, including community members, RCMP and Parks Canada officials.
The men's damaged boat was found early on in the search. On Wednesday RCMP said the search had become a recovery effort.
"There's been some debris located," Sgt. Danny Knight, Fort Chipewyan's RCMP detachment commander, told CBC Friday morning.
"We located a coil of rope yesterday in the rapids way north of town and a boot as well. The boot was confirmed by family as being part of this."
The men, identified as Keith Marten, Walter Ladouceur, Andrew Ladouceur and Keanan Cardinal, are experienced hunters. There's been no sign that they reached the shore.
Knight said members of the community familiar with the men's vessel could confirm that at least some of the damage was new.
"The boat has some damage to it in various places, along the hull and to the superstructure, windshield and so on. We can't say conclusively where that damage came from."
'No recovery made'
Knight says they're still exploring a large area of the Rocher River.
"We have covered it multiple, multiple times with everything from helicopters to sidescan sonar. We have dragging operations going at this time," he said.
"There has been no recovery made."
Knight said the dive team has more sophisticated equipment that they're working with.
"We're still covering the entire area, we haven't narrowed it down to a specific point at this time."
Knight added that support from the community of about 1,300 people has been "unbelievable."
"At this point in time, there's really, I don't think, a resource we can tap that we haven't acquired," he said, his voice breaking.
"We're doing everything we can."