Tragedy unfolded Saturday afternoon when three young people believed to be teenagers set off on Sproat Lake from a boat launch at Sproat Lake Provincial Park.
They were in a canoe and made it about 1.5 kilometres across the lake when their canoe sank.
People onshore heard screaming and responded in a small boat and were able to rescue two of the three people, but one young man was unaccounted for and remains missing.
An RCMP helicopter was seen searching the east end of the lake Sunday morning, but the search appeared to have wrapped up by noon Sunday.
CHEK News has reached out to Port Alberni RCMP and Alberni Valley Rescue Squad for more details.
People visiting the park Sunday had heard about what happened and are still hoping for a positive outcome.
“You know they’re still looking right, so there’s still a chance he might be alive, but it’s very sad. It’s very cold out there and wouldn’t take long for something bad to happen,” James Van Dam told CHEK News.
“The helicopter, it passed over us when we were at the petroglyphs over there because I just think they’re looking along the shoreline around this area,” added Ella Donovan.
CHEK News has learned from people who live on the lake that the two people who were rescued had been in the 12-degree water for about 30 minutes before being pulled out.
Sproat Lake Fire Chief Mike Cann says firefighters responded and provided first aid to two people before they were transported to West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni by ambulance.
There was no update on their condition Sunday.
CHEK News has been told the three victims were not wearing life jackets.