Dozens of volunteers scoured the trails and bush Tuesday morning, part of a massive Elk Lake search aimed at finding a missing 28-year-old man.

“Working alongside Saanich Police, we’re checking both trails and forested area as well as the lake itself,” explained Kyle Vandelft of Peninsula Emergency Operations (PEMO) Search and Rescue earlier Tuesday.

“Our mutual aid partners Salt Spring Search and Rescue and Metchosin Search and Rescue are assisting.”

Elliott’s body was found just a couple of hours later by Saanich police divers near the dock where he disappeared at Elk Lake.

“It was a difficult conclusion and not the outcome that we were expecting or hoping for,” Const. Markus Anastasiades of the Saanich Police said.

“Our heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Elliott and everyone who knew him.”

Elliott was last seen Saturday night around 10 p.m., drinking with friends on a private dock at the lake.

Friends say they left Elliott, who had fallen asleep, on the dock for about 30 minutes. When they came back, he was gone.

“He didn’t make it home to his residence near Elk Lake and he didn’t make it to work Monday morning,” Vandelft said.

Saanich police were called late Monday afternoon and immediately began a ground and water search — focusing their efforts around the dock.

They had to call off the search after nightfall on Monday but were back at it first thing Tuesday morning.

“We’re not talking about downtown core, we’re talking about a large rural area, a large body of water,” Anastasiades said earlier Tuesday.

“We’re using all the resources we have possible.”

Friends told CHEK News Elliott couldn’t swim.

He’s been remembered as a great guy who loved 4 x 4-ing and was always helpful.

Saanich police and the BC Coroners Service are investigating the death but police say it appears to be a tragic accident.

Tess van Straaten