Dozens of searchers from as far away as the Cowichan Valley, the Comox Valley and Port Alberni scoured parts of south Nanaimo in the search for 72-year-old Rick Larson, who hasn’t been seen since about 6:45 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 25th.

“All we know is that he left his house, so the possibilities are endless,” said Nanaimo Search and Rescue Search Manager Kevin McNeill.

It’s not uncommon for Larson to go for long walks lasting 2-3 hours and he has a few regular routes.

“Three usual routes, the main one being down Halliburton Street down towards the downtown,” added McNeill. “On the morning in question, he was going to meet his wife perhaps and she was up at the aquatic centre so he would’ve left Haliburton Street and headed up in that area.”

“We have upwards of 70 people involved in today’s operation,” said Nanaimo RCMP Constable Derek Balderston. “Throughout the week there’s been aircraft involved, dogs involved, we’ve had a focus on the water, we’ve even included drones and helicopters.”

But so far there’s been no sign of Larson and with each passing day, the search area expands.

“And if you do the math which is pi R squared, by his speed of walking you can soon figure out that a weak later that area is huge,” said McNeill.

It’s an urban search area with city streets but also includes forests and thick brush which is a tough go for searchers.

A flyer was also being handed out to homes along the routes Larson might have taken.

He was wearing a black fleece jacket, faded jeans and brown and green camouflage baseball cap.

“Mr. Larson‘s plans as far as we know we’re just to go out for a 2 to 3 hour walk in an urban environment,” said Balderston. “The conditions at the time probably wouldn’t require much more than a fleece jacket but we’ve seen a lot of rain this week.”

The search will resume Sunday.

If you have seen Mr. Larson you’re asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345

Dean Stoltz