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Dive teams won’t search for man swept away in Southern Alberta

CALGARY — Police dive teams won’t search for a 19-year-old man swept downstream by a swollen southern Alberta river on the weekend.

The RCMP says the Highwood River is high and moving quickly due to recent rain.

Justin McNeil’s family says he fell into the water near the Nature’s Hideaway campground on Sunday.

Police said Monday that McNeil had decided to go for a swim, but got caught in the current.

An extensive search, which included a patrol by Calgary’s police helicopter, failed to locate him.

McNeil’s cousin, Melanie Murrin, says the family isn’t giving up hope that he will be found safe.

“Justin, we’re coming out to look for you, and hopefully we find you safe and sound — and we can bring you home,” she said.

Murrin added she hasn’t been impressed with the search-and-rescue effort.

“I understand that the rivers are rough, but there should be more that they can do.”

RCMP Cpl. Sharon Franks said it’s not safe to go into the water because of silt, debris and high streamflow.

The Highwood River was recently under a flood advisory because of heavy rain.



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