Rafter’s body found in Kettle River

The body of a Grand Forks man who went missing Sunday night on the Kettle River was found Monday.

The body of a Grand Forks man who went missing Sunday night on the Kettle River was found Monday.

At 9:45 a.m. on Monday morning, a police helicopter located the body of 54-year-old Wade Brunelle approximately 150 metres down river from the 68th Street Bridge.

Staff Sgt. Jim Harrison, from the Grand Forks RCMP, was at the scene.

“They were rafting, him and his brother, and Wade fell off his raft,” Harrison said.

Brunelle had been missing since around 8 p.m. Sunday. After falling off the raft, he was swept into deep swift water 100 metres down river from the point where the Kettle and Granby meet.

A search was conducted Sunday night by Grand Forks Fire-Rescue and Grand Forks Search and Rescue (SAR) until after midnight and was continued Monday morning by Grand Forks SAR, Nelson SAR and RCMP air support.

The body was recovered by Nelson Swift Water techs in five to seven-metre deep water and identified at the scene.

Harrison said that investigation is continuing, but it is known that Brunelle was a non-swimmer and was not wearing a flotation device.

“Our investigation produced that alcohol was probably a factor in this,” he said. “We’re waiting for toxicology reports back from (the coroner).”