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Tragic end to search for missing man

Search and rescue volunteers and RCMP officers use ropes to enter a section of the Alouette River in Golden Ears Provincial Park. - Contributed photo
Search and rescue volunteers and RCMP officers use ropes to enter a section of the Alouette River in Golden Ears Provincial Park.
— image credit: Contributed photo

A body found in the Alouette River has been linked to a missing person’s report from Vancouver.

Ridge Meadows RCMP were asked to help Vancouver Police locate a man who was reported missing March 25.

Although the man resided in Vancouver, he often visited Golden Ears park and the Malcolm Knapp UBC Research Forest.

Police used a helicopter to search the provincial park and found the man’s car.

After the car was located, police dogs and Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue volunteers were brought in to look for him.

Items that belonged to the missing man were found during the search, but there was no sign of him.

“After an extensive ground search by police and our community partners, it was felt the missing man had  drowned in the upper Alouette River,” said Const. Chris Wilson, with the Ridge Meadows RCMP’s Missing Persons Unit.

The RCMP Underwater Recovery Team was called on March 26, but divers did not go into the water until March 27 because it was too dangerous.

Divers found the man’s submerged body, but during the attempted recovery, one of them was struck by rocks that rolled off a nearby waterfall.

With the water being so dangerous, all search and rescue efforts had to be delayed until it was safer.

On April 13, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue continued the search of the deep water pools in the area using a submersible camera, which showed police where the body was located.

Police managed to recover the body on April 15.

“Although this is a very tragic event, all involved in the search and recovery were able to give the man’s family some closure,” said Wilson.

Supt. Dave Fleugel thanked all the teams involved in the lengthy search.

“Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue have always been there for Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment,” Fleugel said. “Their dedication is second to none, and resulted in the body being located sooner than later.”

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