Missing swimmer turns up safe after exhaustive search

Ian Jacques/Editor / Staff writer
November 19, 2012 01:00 AM

A swimmer reported missing last Friday night, was located by Sunshine Coast RCMP early Saturday morning, but this was after an intensive search was conducted involving several agencies.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 16, RCMP responded to a report of a possible man in distress from the water near the 8600 block of Merry Island Esplanade in Halfmoon Bay.

Police attended the location with the complainant and located the clothing and identification of a 65-year-old Burnaby man on the beach, and noted footprints leading to the water, said Cpl. Steve Chubey. Police canvassed the neighbourhood and a K-9 unit searched the area, but were unable to get a scent.

While RCMP started its search, volunteers from the Royal Canadian Marine - Search and Rescue, Station 12 in Halfmoon Bay began searching the water in their rescue vessel the Ken Moore. Shortly afterwards, the RCMSAR was joined in the search by the Canadian Coast Guard hovercraft from Richmond, the CCGS Cape Caution from French Creek and a SAR Cormorant helicopter from Comox.

The search was hampered initially by poor radio communications, but the crew did its best, in rain and winds of 25 to 30 knots and a falling tide, to conduct search patterns mandated by the hovercraft, which was the search command, said HMB RCMSAR media liaison Drew McKee. The search, carried on by four vessels, the hovercraft and a SAR Cormorant helicopter from Comox came up empty-handed and the Ken Moore was directed to stand down at 3 a.m. as the land search and rescue and the RCMP were setting up on shore.

Chubey said on Saturday morning at approximately 10:40 a.m. police located the missing person,at an area bed and breakfast, unharmed.

Hetold policethat he had gone for a late night swim, however could not find his clothing after the swim, so he returned to the B&B, said Chubey.

© Coast Reporter

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