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Body of missing Port Hardy pilot found

PORT HARDY, B.C- The body of a man missing from the Port Hardy area has been found.

Ryan MacDonald, who had worked as the Chief Pilot for Wilderness Seaplanes out of Port Hardy, went missing last month after setting out for a remote cabin on Alice Lake on the evening of April 6.

MacDonald had been reported missing after he failed to show up for work the following week.

An extensive air, ground and water search of the area was made in an effort to locate MacDonald after the missing-persons report, though it was suspended due to rising water levels causing safety concerns.

The Port Hardy/Port Alice RCMP detachment has now announced the recovery of a body of an adult man from the Marble River area, which is where MacDonald was presumed to have drowned on April 6.

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The body was recovered on May 11.

“(On May 11) police had been alerted that it appeared that a body could be seen aground on a high spot in a pool on the river near the Marble River Campground,” read a police news release.

“The water level on the Marble River has receded significantly since the search efforts had to be called off in mid-April due to safety concerns for the searchers. Police attended and confirmed there was a body in the river.  They were able to recover the body without the aid of support units as the water was shallow and slow moving in the area it was located.  Police confirmed that the body was that of the missing man.”

The matter has now been turned over to the provincial Coroner Service.

A previous post from Wilderness Seaplanes stated that MacDonald was a long-time employee and friend.

“It is with immense sadness that we are now dealing with the loss of our beloved Chief Pilot, Ryan MacDonald,” reads the statement.

“Ryan was a humble, caring, knowledgeable and humorous character who always had a story to tell and a smile on his face. Wilderness Seaplanes sends our sincerest condolences to his entire family and friends. We thank all of you that have called and expressed your thoughts for his family and us.

“Ryan- you are in our hearts and thoughts, and we will miss you.”



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