Search and rescue teams from Comox Valley and Campbell River are currently assisting with a search for two mushroom pickers that went missing near Pemberton last Thursday.
The two missing men, a father and son, were from the Lil’wat Nation and were last heard from at 2 p.m. on the afternoon of Oct. 22, according to a Facebook post.
Paul Berry with Comox Valley Search and Rescue says that the Vancouver Island-based teams have been assisting with the search on the mainland throughout the weekend and into Monday morning.
The Comox Valley and Campbell River crews join “dozens of teams,” Berry says, including crews from Squamish and Whistler.
Comox Valley has sent a cormorant helicopter to provide air support over the terrain near the community, located about 150 kilometres north of Vancouver.
Dozens of search teams including @ComoxValleySAR and @campbell_r_SAR are in #Pemberton this morning looking 2 missing mushroom pickers last seen Thursday. 442/RCMP also in the air. @CHEK_News pic.twitter.com/cQhNzgkvYG
— Dean Stoltz (@deanstoltzchek) October 26, 2020
In addition to the aerial support, Berry says Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue has assisted with command staff, searchers, and K9 units. In total, Berry says 12 members have been involved over three operational periods that spanned over the weekend and into Monday.
According to RCMP, River Leo, 21, and Peter Oleski, 48, set out Thursday morning driving a red 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 truck. The red truck was found near a paragliding launch site north of Pemberton and the Lil’wat community of Mount Currie on Friday.
“Myself, Kúkpi7 Gélpcal (Cultural Chief Ashley Joseph), council and appointed leadership are grateful for the time that has been invested in searching for River and Peter,” said Kúkwpi7 Skalúlmecw Chief Dean Nelson. “Your concern, compassion and participation in the search effort are very much appreciated.”
The Lil’wat Nation is asking for community members to stay home and let SAR crews as well as the Stl’atl’imx Tribal Police continue the search.
“It is my deepest hope that River and Peter are safe and that we find them very soon,” Chief Dean Nelson said in a Facebook post.
The search has been considered urgent due to the cold temperature.