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Elliot Lake: August 1999

OVSARDA deployed three search dog teams to Elliot Lake on 30 July 1999, on request from North Shore SAR and the Elliot Lake Police Dept. The victim, Vinnie Yeo, had been canoeing with friends on the lake when the canoe overturned. All other occupants made it to shore safely, Vinnie did not. Dive teams had been searching the lake for 12 days already without success.

Though we arrived late in the afternoon, we decided to get the dogs out for an hour or two before dark. The first dog team was brought to the presumed Place Last Seen, as determined by a re-enactment of the accident, but there were no indications. The second team was brought to the approximate location of the canoe, as found several hours after it overturned. This dog, indicated almost immediately. A second dog was brought in and backed up the indication.

The next morning, the dogs were again put out to re-confirm the previous evening's alerts and to try to pinpoint a location in the 100' deep water. Dive teams were sent down, but could only stay down for 15 minutes at a time due to the great depth. Two dives per day were the maximum possible. On the third day, Vinnie Yeo was found in the area where the dogs had indicated, 96' below the surface.