Search for missing snowmobilers in Lac Saint-Jean region stretches into Day 7

Quebec provincial police have resumed their search efforts for two young tourists from France who went missing one week ago in the province’s Lac Saint-Jean region.

The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) said divers from Montreal police have joined the operation as it stretches into its seventh day after the snowmobiles broke the ice somewhere between St-Henri-de-Taillon and Alma.

“This will optimize the coverage of potential search areas despite the difficult conditions,” police said in a statement.

Jean-René Dumoulin, 24, and Arnaud Antoine, 25, are still missing as of Tuesday morning.

A group of eight French tourists and their guide were snowmobiling in the area last Tuesday night when the ice gave way.

Three snowmobilers made it to shore and suffered from hypothermia. Benoit L’Espérance, the 42-year-old Quebecer leading the group, died in hospital.

While land, nautical and air searches were underway, rescuers found the body of 58-year-old Gilles Claude on Friday.

The bodies of Yann Thierry, 24, and Julien Benoît, 34, were also pulled from icy waters this weekend.

In the wake of the incident, the Quebec government introduced stricter rules for adventure tourism last week. This includes mandatory training for tour guides and tourists to use off-road vehicles.

Nature and adventure tourism companies must also hold a safety certification in order to be eligible for financial assistance from the province’s tourism ministry.

— With files from Global News’ Alessia Simona Maratta and the Canadian Press

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