A smoke marker, which could be dangerous, remains lost in Cowichan Lake. (Submitted by RCMP)

Lake Cowichan RCMP warning of lost smoke marker; canister may be dangerous

Markers dropped into the lake on the north side on Friday, Aug. 6

If you come across a silver canister floating in Cowichan Lake don’t touch it, warn Lake Cowichan RCMP and the Canadian Armed Forces.

Officials are warning people that two marine location markers, otherwise known as smoke markers, were dropped into the lake on the north side on Friday, Aug. 6 by members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, who were conducting training involving a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter. The devices did not activate as they were expected to and one remains unaccounted for. The other was found by a homeowner in Youbou on Aug. 8, who made Lake Cowichan RCMP aware of the situation.

“A silver canister was found floating in Cowichan Lake near a home in Youbou. The complainant did the right thing and immediately called police as per the directions on the side of the device,” says Lake Cowichan RCMP Detachment Commander Sergeant Lita Watson. “Should anyone come across anything that matches this description, please immediately call the RCMP and we will attend and pick it up.”

RCMP say it is not uncommon for smoke markes to be found by members of the public, but they could pose a safety risk if not handled properly. The RCAF caution people not to try to keep the smoke canister as a souvenir.

Smoke markers consist of a silver tube that burns intensely to produce light. Smoke markers are designed to float and may eventually wash up on a beach.

The canisters have directions on the side with instructions on what to do if you find one: “DO NOT TOUCH. CALL THE NUMBER LOCATED ON THE MUNITION OR SIMPLY CALL 911”.

Lake Cowichan Gazette