Shortly before the stroke of midnight New Year’s Eve, Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue responded to a call from the Oyster River area where a man had gone missing.
A total of 18 volunteers searched for the man, who had been fishing with family members Saturday afternoon but failed to rendezvous as planned.
The man’s family conducted an initial search then called 911, fearing he had fallen into the river.
Campbell River SAR and CVGSAR members searched for the man on roads and trails alongside the river until first light Sunday. Swift water rescue specialists from both teams prepared to enter the river to expand the search.
Shortly before 11 a.m. the man was discovered wandering, shoeless, on a logging road some four kilometres from the river’s edge where he was last seen. He was
reunited with family members.
Sunday’s search operation was the 37th of the year for local SAR volunteers.
“2011 was an extremely busy and challenging year for our team with many long duration operations in difficult weather conditions and terrain,” CVGSAR manager/president Paul Berry said. “Our team is made up of amazing, deeply committed and selfless individuals. This year, more than 10,000 person hours have been committed by the team, most in
operations, but almost equal amounts in training and fund-raising as well.”
CVGSAR would like to thank the organizations and businesses that have supported its efforts over the past year with donations and in-kind services.