By Marianne Curtis
A sixty-six year old Niverville man is still missing and presumed drowned after a boating accident that occurred near Bloodvein on November 14.
According to Bloodvein RCMP two boaters were on their way back to Bloodvein from Matheson Island when they hit a reef on Lake Winnipeg and the boat flipped. Both occupants were ejected from the craft. Neither boater was wearing life jackets.
One man was able to swim to the reef and the other, a 66-year-old man was last seen floating in the water. The survivor was spotted on the reef by a local fisherman checking his nets about an hour later after the incident and brought to the Bloodvein Nursing Station. He suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Sixty-six year old Ray Manegre could not be found at that time.
Soon afterward, RCMP launched a search party consisting of local volunteers and the Canadian Forces Base Trenton Search and Rescue who dispatched a CC130 – Hercules aircraft to assist with the search. Assistance was also obtained from an auxiliary Search and Rescue Team from Matheson Island.
An extensive search was conducted but Manegre was not found. However, the boat and a number of items believed to belong to the missing man were located. Weather conditions and visibility was reported as being poor. Searchers were forced to abort the search for the missing man due to poor weather and lack of visibility but picked it up again the next day.
Students and staff at Misskooseepi School in Bloodvein were shock as the search continued for Manegre, who was a popular teacher at the school.
Misskooseepi principal Irene Rupp said she was told by the rescued man that Manegre was wearing heavy clothes and struggled in the water.
She said the incident hit everyone in the community hard.
“Staff [are] crying, and some students were crying. We even canceled school for a day,” she said. “My grandson is in his class and he misses his teacher.”
Manegre, who was from Niverville has taught in various places, had just teaching started in Bloodvein in September.
Sixty-six year old Ray Manegre is still missing after a boating accident that took place on November 14.