Body found in the Fraser identified

Herbert Wells from Hope was discovered by gravel barge workers in the river in Abbotsford

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of a body found in the Fraser River in Abbotsford on Aug. 13.

Herbert Wells was discovered by gravel barge workers with Mainland Sand and Gravel Quarry along the shoreline of the river east of Matsqui Trail Regional Park. The body of the 66-year-old Hope fisherman was wedged between a barge and large log boom.

On July 28, Wells slipped off a rock near the Saddle Rock Tunnel in the Fraser Canyon and fell into the river. He was not wearing a flotation device at the time.

An extensive search was conducted by members of Hope Search and Rescue, the First Nations policing unit, and the RCMP seasonal policing division, but he was not found.

Wells’ oldest sister Doreen Jones, who lives in Abbotsford, said her brother had been a resident of Hope for about 20 years. Even though he hadn’t spoken to her in over a year, Jones said she knew fishing in the Fraser wasn’t uncommon for her brother.

“Unfortunately accidents happen,” she said. “He didn’t really keep in touch with us but he will be missed.”