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Search for missing Port Hardy man suspended amid rising water levels

PORT HARDY, B.C- The ongoing search for a missing man from Port Hardy has been put on hold.

The search operation had been focused on the Marble River and Alice Lake, after the 45 year old man set out for a remote lake cabin last Friday. He didn’t come to work on Monday, causing his friends and co-workers to become concerned.

His boat was later found overturned in the rapids of the river, and his two dogs were found alive in the area. His truck was located in the parking area of the Alice Lake boat launch.

Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen, who commands the Port Hardy and Port Alice detachments, indicated that the search is focusing on shorelines and waterways in the area. However, local moisture levels in were rising, and the search had to be put on hold for safety reasons as of Thursday.

“When the water is rushing and rising, and debris is starting to break free, it makes it difficult for them (RCMP divers and support workers) to work in that kind of environment,” said Olsen.

“We have to get the water levels back low again, and stabilize the area, so that we don’t have stuff floating all over.”

The Port Hardy detachment, as well as local air services, the police helicopter, the RCMP dive team, the Campbell River Ground and Swift Water Search and Rescue Team and the Canadian Coast Guard have all been involved in the search.

The man remains missing as of this publication, and Olsen said that it was difficult for family and first responders to prolong the search. He thanked the agencies who have been involved.

He also advised for members of the public to stay away from the search area.

“We pulled out because of safety,” said Olsen.

“We don’t want anybody else going down there and getting themselves in trouble.”

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