Kent-Harrison Search and Rescue command staged at the Harrison Lake boat launch parking lot.

Kent-Harrison Search and Rescue command staged at the Harrison Lake boat launch parking lot.

Missing swimmers found dead in Harrison River

Daniel Reid and Gary Duong left an inflatable raft June 8 and turned up deceased on June 18 & 19 on the Harrison River

The BC Coroner’s Service has confirmed that the two bodies located along the Harrison River last week were those of the men that went missing on Harrison Lake June 8.

Local kayakers spotted a body two kilometres down the Harrison River on Thursday, June 18 and phoned it in. Kent Harrison Search and Rescue (KHSAR) was paged Thursday evening to assist RCMP in its recovery.

KHSAR members spent four hours searching the Harrison River Friday morning, from Harrison Lake right to the Fraser River, but didn’t find the other missing man. Then late Friday afternoon, a fishing guide spotted the body upstream from the highway 7 bridge in Harrison Mills. KHSAR volunteers recovered the subject from the shoreline next to the bridge using a rope system.

“The two separate recoveries on the Harrison River were unusual,” states Neil Brewer, one of the team’s search managers.

Brewer says in his experience, there have been no body recoveries on the Harrison River as the current typically takes the bodies to the Fraser River.

“This was a very sad event for everyone involved,” says Brewer. “But, at least we have provided closure for the families and friends.”

The two men, Daniel Dale Reid, aged 23, and Gary Duong, aged 25, were both from Vancouver. Reid and Duong were part of a large group staying in Harrison. According to KHSAR, eight of them left the beachfront on an inflatable raft on Monday, June 8. Reid and Duong at some point jumped into the water and planned to swim back to shore.

The remaining six individuals had required assistance from KHSAR when they were unable to get back to shore. It was only later in the day that the friends realized the two men had not shown up back in Harrison. Three intensive search days turned up nothing and the search had been called off. KHSAR confirms that when they rescued the six individuals, none were wearing personal flotation devices, and the two bodies recovered did not have PFD’s on either.

On Duong’s Facebook page, tributes have been pouring in since the incident. Friends and family write that he was full of life, was an incredible soul and a “ridiculously talented” artist. One friend writes, “He was a stand-up man, as sensitive to art as he was to the people around him. Rest in peace, bud.”

KHSAR spent more than 300 volunteer hours on the rescue, search and recoveries. The BC Coroners Service and RCMP are continuing to investigate the deaths.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nick Warmerdam and his dog Diesel are inviting locals to check out the Lakeland Farm U-pick Flower Farm this spring. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers opens for spring

Tulip farm attraction opened on April 14, open to the public daily seven days a week

A man holds a child while speaking with RCMP following an erratic driving incident on Highway 1 in Chilliwack on Friday, April 16, 2021. The child and a woman (but not this man) were in this Jeep Grand Cherokee which hit a barrier and a parked car on Highway 1 and continued driving. The vehicle finally exited the highway at Yale Road West and came to a stop. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Video captures woman driving erratically with child after hitting barrier, car on Hwy 1 in Chilliwack

Smoke seen coming from SUV as it continues to travel eastbound of shoulder of highway

Video image
UPDATE: Bridge traffic moving normally after high-velocity crash involving logging truck

Northbound crash occurred at approximately 2 p.m., involves 6 vehicles, north lanes shut down

An undated picture of the Hope Station House. (Photo/Save The Hope Station House)
Hope council must consider all options for Station House: B.C. Ombudsperson

Investigation ‘revealed flaws in District’s process,’ statement said

The West Coast Women’s Show is among numerous events held annually at Tradex in Abbotsford. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Show producers start petition against city’s call for Tradex proposals

Abbotsford site should remain as events facility, petition states

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was convicted of sex assault, and is now being sued by the victim. (files)
Former Pitt Meadows city councillor sued for sex assault

David Murray was convicted in 2017 of sexually assaulting a teen 25 years earlier

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Most Read