It was early afternoon Sunday when Matlock summer resident Blair Moore noticed a man who was windsurfing about a mile and a half off shore of the main beach in this small resort town 70 kilometres north of Winnipeg.
Moore says he was watching the man closely because high winds had suddenly picked up on the lake, as they are known to do, often catching those in the water off guard.
Other witnesses said the man appeared to be in some distress when conditions on the lake worsened as dangerous wave action quickly increased.
At some point, those on the beach lost sight of the man. That’s when Moore called the RCMP to report the incident.
Within minutes, emergency response teams from local fire departments in the surrounding area, including the St. Andrews Fire Department in Matlock, were on the scene.
They were soon joined by the Canadian Coast Guard from nearby Gimli, and an extensive search along the western shore of Lake Winnipeg’s south basin ensued.
The emergency response teams continued to scour the waters for several hours.
By 4:45 pm, a Canadian Forces Hercules C-130 was dispatched and the massive airplane was seen flying low over the area for about an hour.
RCMP could not confirm if they were looking for anyone as they were responding solely to what beach goers had reported, and not to any individual missing person report.
Search and rescue crews were on the scene until early evening, but found nothing.
Witnesses along the beach were hoping the windsurfer in question had somehow made it back to shore safely.
All photos by Bee Erenberg